In the laytest measure taken to protect the interest of workers, specifically nursing mothers, during the ongoing Covid pandemic, the Centre has issued an advisory, asking all state governments/UT administrations to encourage work from home facility for them.
In a statement, the Ministry of Labour and Employment said: “Keeping in view the vulnerability of nursing mothers and their babies during the Covid pandemic and to save them from getting infected by the coronavirus, the Ministry has issued an advisory to all the state governments and UTs to encourage employers to allow to work from home to nursing mothers wherever the nature of work so permits.
“The state governments and UTs have been requested that steps may be taken to create awareness about section 5(5) of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 amongst the women workforce and the employers. The state governments 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 as per section 5(5) of the Act wherever nature of work so allows.
“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,” the Ministry said.
It pointed out that in addition to protecting the nursing mothers during Covid, giving the flexibility to work from home wherever nature of work allows to do so, will enable nursing mothers to continue to remain in employment. Thus, the implementation of this provision shall act as an enabling tool in enhancement of participation of women in labour force and this shall also contribute to creating a happy workforce, it said.