Riders render child care leave scheme worthless; 80% applications rejected

Sanctioning authorities empowered to turn down requests on vague grounds

Jaipur: About two-and-a-half months back, the Rajasthan Government had announced that its women employees would be entitled to child care leave (CCL). But two provisions in the related notification are leading to rejection of most of the requests for CCL.

Two lakh women employees

 

Out of the around two lakh women employees of the state government, nearly 1.5 lakh are employed in the Education Department. And they are facing the maximum hardship as the heads of the schools are rejecting their leave applications with impunity. The CCL applications of around 80 per cent women teachers have been rejected. In some cases, the applicants were given leave but it was cancelled midway and they were asked to rejoin the duty.

According to the notified rules, a woman employee can avail a total leave of 730 days in her service period. At one time, she can avail leave for minimum 15 and maximum 180 days for taking care of children up to 18 years of age.

The twin riders

1. Leave is not the right of the employee. The childcare leave cannot be demanded as a right.

2. The officer considering the leave application has the authority to reject it if he has reasons to believe that sanctioning it would hamper the smooth functioning of the government or attainment of objectives and targets.

Priorities fixed

To avoid disputes and controversies, the Education Department has fixed priorities for grant of CCL. The widowed and divorced employees would be given priority. A medical emergency, serious illness of the child, hospitalisation of the child and the child appearing in Board or professional exam will also be treated as priority cases.

‘Remove riders’

Kamal Lamba, state president, Akhil Rajasthan Mahila Shikshak Sangh, said 80 per cent applications of the women employees have been rejected arbitrarily by the officials. ‘We demand removal of provisions that lead to rejection of applicants’, she said.

Women employees running from pillar to post

Sunil Sharma, a lady teacher of Government Higher Secondary School Balawala, sought three months’ CCL but was denied. Another teacher Bhavna of Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School Gangapol was denied leave, while in another case a teacher Meenakshi Sharma was first sanctioned the leave but it was later cancelled.

(Story: Vinod Mittal)

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