The Central Govt has prepared guidelines for setting up of creches at workplaces, which prescribe trained personnel to man the facility as well as infrastructure requirements and safety norms.- The Hindu
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.
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 organization with 50 or more employees to have a creche.
- The guidelines made public last month recommend that a creche be either at the workplace or within 500 metres of it. Alternatively, it could also be in the beneficiaries’ neighbourhood.
- The facility should be open for eight to 10 hours and if the employees have a shift system, then the creche should also be run accordingly.
- A creche 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 creches should have at least one guard, who should have undergone police verification. There should also be at least one supervisor per creche 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, and electricians be allowed inside the creche when children are present.
Other important information
- A creche monitoring committee with representations from among creche workers, parents and administration should be formed.
- There should also be a grievance redressal committee for inquiring into instances of sexual abuse.
- The guidelines are not mandatory but are a yardstick for NGOs and organisations for setting up of creches.