It is the fourth day after the commencement of the extended Maternity Leave by the Royal Civil Service Commission and already the mothers who gave birth since 1st September last year are entitled to a 6 months maternity leave. The 6 months maternity leave includes full pay including the house rent.
This announcement came as happy news to most of the new mothers, female employees and the every other civil servant after months of discussion on the issue.
The extension of the maternity leave is in the view of enhancing exclusive breast feeding rates in the country which currently stands at 51.4% and to improve early child care and development.
This is following the government’s proposal for maternity leave to RCSC in January 2015 and the RCSC’s final proposal submitted for approval towards the end of 2015. As expected by many, the proposal was endorsed on 25th December 2015 with some changes on the extra six months after the maternity leave.
The RCSC has also extended the Paternity Leave from five working days to ten working days starting 1st March.
A working mother can extend her lunch time from 12 p.m to 2 p.m to facilitate baby feeding until the baby is 24 months.
“Any important office work can be done in half a day and the left over work can also be continued at home if it is very important,” Lyonpo Dorji Choden said during the last meet the press adding that there will not be a need to recruit extra man force which will help government in curtailing the budget. The mothers involved in direct services like teaching or medical employees should take off their own time while making sure that their services are not hindered.
While mothers in the civil services are applauding for the right move by the RCSC, the private employees also want some facility.
There are question over when the corporate sector or government owned companies will implement such a measure given that most corporate HR rules are largely based on the standards set by government agencies.
Dechen Zangmo, 28 and a mother to her first child and Sonam Lhamo a private employee said that there should be something done for the private sector as well. The original government proposal had talked for increased flexi time for mothers in the private sector but the RCSC stuck to its mandate of civil servants only.