Centre asks states to encourage work from home for nursing mothers

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) The Centre has issued an advisory to states and union territories to encourage work from home for nursing mothers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has advised that such mothers should be allowed to work from home for at least one year from the date of birth of the child. In the latest measure taken to protect the interest of workers, specifically nursing mothers, during the pandemic, the government has issued an advisory to all the state governments/UTs to encourage work from home for nursing mothers, a labour ministry statement said.

The advisory was issued under the enabling provision for permitting work from home for nursing mothers under Section 5(5) of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, it added.

The proviso provides that where the nature of work assigned to a woman is such that she may work from home, the employer may allow her to do so after availing of the maternity benefit for the period and on mutually agreeable conditions.

Keeping in view the vulnerability of nursing mothers and their babies during the pandemic, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued an advisory to all the states/UTs to encourage employers to allow to work from home to nursing mothers wherever feasible.

The state governments and UTs have been requested that steps may be taken to create awareness about Section 5(5) of the Act among the women workforce and the employers, it added.

The states and UTs have been further requested that advisories may be issued to the employers for allowing more and more nursing mothers to work from home.

It has been conveyed that employers may be advised to allow work from home, wherever nature of work so allows, for nursing mothers at least for a period of one year from the date of birth of the child, it stated. In addition to protecting the nursing mothers during COVID, giving the flexibility to work from home shall enable them to continue to remain in employment. Thus, implementation of this provision shall act as an enabling tool in enhancement of participation of women in labour force, it added. PTI KKS ABM ABM

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