Is a woman entitled to maternity leave and other monetary benefits for the third child, the first after joining government service? This question has been raised in the Madras High Court, which directed the government to consider the same on merits.
"As seen from the GO dated August 23, 2021, on a prima facie consideration, this Court is of the considered view that it does not deal with the situation where the applicant had joined public service only after the birth of two children and she is seeking maternity leave for the first time after she had secured public employment."
"Therefore, this Court is of the considered view that no prejudice would be caused to the respondents (government authorities) if the petitioner's representation seeking maternity leave in respect of her third child is considered on merits and in accordance with the law," Justice Abdul Quddhose said on December 6.
The judge was disposing of a writ petition from Khatija Umama, who prayed for a direction to the authorities to grant maternity leave of one year for the delivery of her third child by considering her representation dated June 27 this year with full pay and attendant benefits.
The case of the petitioner is she joined public service as a teacher after giving birth to two children. When she was expecting the third child, she had requested the respondents to grant her maternity leave for one year. The third child was also born subsequently but till date, her maternity leave has not been sanctioned by the authorities concerned.
She is entitled to get maternity leave even if she is having three children in view of the fact that only after the birth of two children, she joined public service. As her representation was not considered in her favour, she moved the High Court.
The government advocate produced a copy of the August 2021 GO issued by the Human Resources Management (FR-III) department, which stated that no maternity leave can be granted for the third child.
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