The Kerala High Court has said that employers should treat women employees with consideration and dignity, and be sympathetic to their cause.
While ordering the state government to pay the pending maternity benefits of three women employees of the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS), the High Court observed that employers should offer all possible support to women so that they are able to achieve their potential as professionals at the workplace.
This observation was made while considering a petition filed by three women employees of KUHS, who were employed on contract and were denied maternity benefits, even though they were allowed to proceed on maternity leave.
Two of the petitioners, had been employed with KUHS for nine years, while the third had worked for KUHS for five years. Therefore, the petitioners, working as programmers, saw no reason for the varsity to deny them their maternity benefits.
When the petitioners had applied for maternity leave, they were denied the request saying that their contract was for less than a year. Actually, the University had purposefully inserted a gap of two days at the time of renewal.
The HC, however, ordered the University to pay their pending benefits in two months’ time, saying that the break which was introduced between the contract period should not be held against the women or come in the way of them being granted maternity benefits.