New Delhi: Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi has come out against a recommendation by the Seventh Central Pay Commission that undermines childcare leave availed by women employees, saying it's not in line with the government's agenda on women empowerment. Gandhi has shot off a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley, urging him not to accept this "regressive" recommendation, particularly "when we want to encourage more and more women to become economically independent."
Currently women employees in central government are permitted to avail childcare leave for up to two years in different spells till their children turn 18. In its recommendations, the Seventh Pay Commission has suggested that the first 365 days of childcare leave should be granted at 100% of the salary while the salary should be curtailed to 80% in the next 365 days.
"This in my view is a regressive suggestion," Gandhi wrote in her letter to Jaitley sent late last week. "Effectively this suggestion would result in curtailment of childcare leave to 365 days in almost all cases. Loss of 20% of the pay is a significant loss for a women employee, but the aggregate amount in money terms saved through this will not be a material factor for the government."
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