NITI Aayog member V K Paul on Monday said that both the private and public sectors should consider enhancing the the maternity leave for women workers from six months to nine months. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Parliament in 2017 entitling paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from earlier 12 weeks.
“Both private and public sector need to sit together to think about increasing the maternity leave of the mothers from present six months to nine months,” FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) said in a statement quoting Paul.
According to the statement, Paul said the private sector should help the NITI Aayog to design the comprehensive care of the children by opening more creches for children for better upbringing as well as doing the needful for the elderly care .
“As millions of care workers will be needed in future, we have to develop systematic soft and hard skilling training,” Paul added.
FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) president Sudha Shivkumar said the global care economy, the paid and unpaid labour related to caregiving such as childcare, elder care, and domestic chores, is a critical sector that enhances economic growth, gender equity, and women’s empowerment.
Care work is economically valuable but globally undervalued, she added.
“In India, the biggest lacunae is that we lack a system for properly identifying care economy workers, and relative to other nations, India’s public spending on the care economy is extremely low,” she said.