South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The government yesterday published a gazette notification on six-months maternity leave for the pubic servants.

The leave will be effective from January 9 this year.

The gazette notification states when a government servant applies for maternity leave, authority shall grant the leave for six-months from January 9, 2011 or from her confinement for the purpose of delivery, whichever is earlier.

According to the Bangladesh Service Rules, a public servant can enjoy maternity leave for four months with full pay twice during the tenure of her service, which is now increased to six-months twice in service tenure.

Fatima Parveen Chowdhury, director of Institute of Public Health and Nutrition, told The Daily Star “the leave would allow mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children for six-months and help eradicate malnutrition among the infants.”

But most temporary workers at state-owned offices are not allowed to get the maternity leave with pay, said victims of different offices.

Though the section 197(2) of the Service Rules stipulates maternity leave as admissible under sub-rule (1) may also be granted to a temporary government servant provided that she has been in government service for at least nine months immediately preceding the date of delivery.

The government offices including Titas Gas Company, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, Public Works Department and City Corporations do not provide the leave to their female workers, said Kohinoor Mahmood, project coordinator of Women Workers Development Project of the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies.

Contacted, Managing Director of Titas Gas Abdul Aziz Khan told The Daily Star yesterday, temporary workers including women do not get maternity leave as they are employed under “no work, no pay” arrangement.

Shirin Akhter of Karmojibi Nari told The Daily Star, “All non-government sectors including garments factories should implement the six-months maternity leave for their employees.”

Ain O Shalish Kendra welcomed the government move.

Source: The Daily Star – 12.01.2011