Central guidelines for Creche facilities at workplace

Central guidelines for Creche facilities at workplace


What is the news?

  •  The Centre has prepared guidelines for setting up of crèches at workplaces, which prescribe trained personnel to man the facility as well as infrastructure requirements and safety norms.
  • In March this year, Parliament passed the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017, enhancing paid maternity leave from a period of 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017

  • Government of India has amended the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 to protect the dignity of motherhood by providing for the full and healthy maintenance of women and her child.

Important provisions of the Act

  • The amendments seek to improve infant mortality rate (34 per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality rate (167 per 100,000 live births).
  • It increased the duration of paid maternity leave available for women employees from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. 
  • Work from Home option may be exercised after the expiry of the 26 weeks’ leave period.
  • Every woman who adopts a child shall be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, from the date of adoption
  • The Act makes it mandatory for employers to educate women about the maternity benefits available to them at the time of their appointment.

Some important provisions on Creche Facilities

  • The law is applicable to all institutions with 10 or more employees.
  • It also makes it mandatory for every organisation with 50 or more employees to have a crèche.
  • It recommends that a crèche be either at the workplace or within 500 metres of it.
  • Alternatively, it could also be in the beneficiaries’
  • The facility should be open for eight to 10 hours and if the employees have a shift system, then the crèche should also be run accordingly.
  • A crèche must have a minimum space of 10 to 12 square feet per child to ensure that she or he can play, rest and learn.
  • There should be no unsafe places such as open drains, pits, garbage bins near the centre.
  • The crèches should have at least one guard, who should have undergone police verification.
  • There should also be at least one supervisor per crèche and a trained worker for every 10 children under three years of age or for every 20 children above the age of three, along with a helper.

The government has also recommended that no outsiders such as plumbers, drivers, electricians be allowed inside the crèche when children are present.

Creche Monitoring Committee

  •                       A crèche monitoring committee with representations from among crèche workers, parents and administration should be formed.

Grievance Redressal Committee

  •                       There should also be a grievance redressal committee for inquiring into instances of sexual abuse.

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