All Indian companies might have daycare facilities for mums, thanks to Maneka Gandhi

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The woman and child ministry is now looking at ways to ensure that every company—private and public—hiring women employees also provides a daycare facility to help them raise their children.

An effort that would be highly appreciated by working mums, who have a tough time juggling between work, life and kids all at the same time, the woman and child ministry(WCD) is now looking at ways to ensure that every company and entity — private and public — hiring women employees also provides a daycare facility to help them raise their children.

A silver lining for mothers

The ministry has been making new rules and amendments for the working mothers, which are being applauded by women all around India. Recently, the ministry made a move to extend the maternity leave to eight-months across government offices.

A report in The Economic Times says that the WCD ministry led by Maneka Gandhi has now written to the corporate affairs ministry to advise and build consensus with all companies and corporate entities to set up a daycare/creche facility. This is to help the rising number of working women across sectors.

working mum

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, says the report.

HR experts laud the move

HR experts have applauded this move and say that it would be a great help to Indian women who want to work but give up due to family and societal pressure. Inadequate maternity leave and the absence of childcare facilities are two key factors that force women to drop out of the workforce, say experts.

"Providing daycare facilities for working mothers at their workplace is a step in the right direction, as often women professionals are compelled to take a break in their career due to motherhood and post-maternity childcare," said Manjusha Nair, head-diversity and inclusion, SAP India.

Sameer Khanna, head of HR at Ericsson, said companies need to step up while speaking to a leading financial daily.

Continue reading to know what HR experts have to say!

"In a situation where the industry is looking at strengthening the female representation at the workplace, and looking to create an enabling environment for women at the workplace, having onsite daycare facilities will be a positive step forward," he said.

While the ministry is keen that the eight-month long maternity leave be extended to the private sector as well and has also written to corporate affairs ministry, CII and FICCI, there has not been much headway in that direction.

There is also a thought that the same should be pursued more strongly with the private sector once the government successfully shifts all its organisations to the eight-month leave model.

As per the proposal, the WCD will also push for a major expansion of the Rajiv Gandhi National creche Scheme. As per a rough estimate, against about 3.5 crore children requiring the facility, only 22,000 creches were made available under the national scheme.

We would have to wait and watch to see how the plan unfolds. Watch this space for more!

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