If the WCD (Women and Child Development) ministry under the leadership of Maneka Gandhi has its way, all the offices in India would very soon be required to have a daycare facilities for children.
Domestic commitments continue to be a large reason why women tend to not work or drop out after working for a few years. The number of women who quit jobs to rest during a pregnancy or post delivery is astounding.
After a proposal to extend the compulsory 6 month maternity leave to 8 months, this new move by the ministry would help new mothers raise children without sacrificing their careers as many women are compelled to give up working to raise their children.
Reliable sources have told ET that “the ministry has written to the corporate affairs ministry to advise and build consensus with all companies and corporate entities to set up a daycare/creche facility in view of the rising number of working women across sectors. The WCD ministry is learnt to have engaged with FICCI and CII to help build consensus among industry leaders and companies to take initiative and set up daycare facilities for women employees. “
Day care centres are usually set up at factories and construction sites to help labourers deal with children while the whole family is at work. But setting up day care centres at all companies – private or public- has been left to the companies’ discretion. Many known multinational companies in India count a daycare centre in campus as one of the many facilities provided to the employees. Facebook, Jabong, Infosys etc. have daycare centres.
Many companies in India including Accenture, Flipkart, Infosys already have favourable maternity benefits for employees, including 20-25 weeks of maternity leaves. Hopefully, with progressive steps such as this, the government can help more women take up and retain their careers.