The D day is approaching!July 1 deadline to provide creche facilities under the amended maternity benefit law is nearing, a large majority of companies are certainly considering day care tie-ups, while mall- and medium-sized organisations had conveyed concerns around incurring high costs on account of the new law. The progressive ones, certainly believe & are able to see the greater outcome of retention of women employees far outweighs the expenses incurred.
Amended maternity benefit act, places the responsibility(liability) on employers to provide day care benefits. The law requires companies to provide Creche (day care facilities) in all locations (shops, factories, offices, mines or branches) having more than 50 employees. The creche can be within the establishment or at a distance prescribed along with common facilities or separately. The act also required employers to inform a potential employee in writing about all the benefits available under the act.
Where is the confusion ?
Its business as usual for some of the companies who have have practiced similar policies for decades. it was looked as the right thing to do and to minimize the impact this could have on women’s life & career.
Some of the professionals( who have a responsibility to implement) on being probed were under the impression that it is still being debated in parliament, whereas the effective date of implementation is 1st of July. Some even questioned, whether they would need it even if the women employee count is just 10, the answer lies in total employee count & not women employee count. Some more queried, why can’t an employer pay a little extra to women employee for creche charges instead of setting up one. The employers in past have tried out such things & perhaps, it hasn’t worked and hence we have come to this solution now. The good thing about the law is that you need not focus only on women employees, men may need it too.
We are still looking for some answers such as the count of 50 is applicable to entire establishment or location wise? we will try to get the answers shortly.