The Tamil Nadu government has increased the period of maternity leave for government employees to 12 months from the existing nine months. The latest policy in Tamil Nadu is expected to help the state's target of elevating the number of newborns who are breastfed in the first six months. It will also help mothers get back to good health in a short period of time, officials from the social welfare department said.
A Step In The Right Direction
State Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan, made the announcement during his budget speech on Friday, August 13. Women employees with less than two surviving children will be entitled to 12 months of paid leave and the move will come into effect from July 1, 2021. The DMK during their election manifesto ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections had made such a promise.
"Tamil Nadu provides cash benefits, free vaccination, and nutrition supplements for mothers and babies. But several mothers are not able to take care of themselves and their babies because they don't have time," said a senior social welfare department official. The longer duration of maternity leave will change this, she said.
A Myriad Of Measures
Apart from this,Thiagrajan also announced other welfare schemes for government employees. The lumpsum grant from the Family Security Fund paid to the family of a government employee who dies while in service has been increased to ₹ 5 lakh, from the previous ₹ 3 lakh.
The increase in the Dearness Allowance (DA) given to government servants will be applicable from April 1, 2022. The Tamil Nadu government in April 2020 had stated that the DA would be frozen at the current rates till July 2021. Tamil Nadu increases the DA every six months, and the last increase was at 17 per cent.
Countries Where Parental Leave Policies Are The Best
Despite being the most developed country, the United States of America does not has no national policy guaranteeing leave for new mothers. Sweden is considered to be one of the best places for families. The government there offers up to 480 days of paid maternity leave.
In Croatia, women are allowed the option to take up to a year of paid maternal leave, apart from claiming benefits like free pre and postnatal medical care.