Child care in office

Child care in office? Yes, now it’s mandatory. A recent reply by the Ministry of Labour and Employment has reiterated that the companies which have 30 women employees or 50 employees in total should provide a creche facility to their employees. They can either have a child care in office or they can tie up with one within a distance of 500 meters.

This reply was with regard to the Section 11A of the  new provision in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. “Cost/expenditure on this account is to be borne by the employer,” said the ministry in response to the RTI filed. This amendment is definitely going to put India in the list of the countries which provide the best Day care in workplace and maternity benefits. However the lack of any government participation in bearing the costs will have a negative impact too. The entire burden of bringing up child care in office now lies with the corporates itself.

The women workforce might face difficulties in being hired as they will become more of a financial liability to the company. In a report by Moneycontrol,  Priya Krishnan, Founder & CEO, Founding Years Learning Solutions, a corporate sponsored day care company said,”what this effectively does is that retaining women suddenly becomes a far more expensive proposition for employers. For women between 25-35 years in particular, this hurts them the most as even before they can make significant progress in their careers, they are seen as a potential financial liability by prospective employers”

She added, “whereas other countries provide voucher systems and subsidies, it is sad to see that in India, the government has diminished its own role in the larger objective except for mandating companies to implement this, that too mid-financial year.”

After this clarification in the RTI reply, there would be setbacks in women employability. Companies like IBM, Ernst & Young, HUL, Standard Chartered Bank have started with the initiative of making their working environment more women friendly by having child care in office itself but the corporate structure of India is very vast and only time will tell how this decision will impact the career of women aged specifically between 24-35.

Also Read : Importance of child car seat