Paid maternity leaves are a right of every woman and it is the social responsibility of every company to comply by this rule. While government employees recently acquired a bigger bracket in terms of the number of months women can take paid leaves for, private employees are still majorly at the mercy of their company policies. But there is never a certainty of what might happen to a female employee who is also pregnant.
Recently, a woman was denied her salary while she was on maternity leave by a company in Okhla region of Delhi. She complained about it to the Delhi Commission for Women which intervened with the company officials and retrieved the woman’s pay for the months concerned while she was on maternity leave.
The company in Okhla Industrial Area had agreed to give maternity leave to the woman it employed as a senior merchandiser but had denied salary amounting to Rs 1,08,000 for three months,” a DCW official said.
“The complainant approached us after which a notice was issued to the company. Following the proceedings, the company accepted its fault and paid the amount due,” the official added.
The woman informed the DCW that when she had taken leave in December last year, the HR department had promised paid leave. However, when she went to take her dues in February, the company denied her the rightful salary.
This is not a solitary case. Such practises are common among women labourers who have no framed guidelines and rules on how much remuneration they deserve while on maternity leave. Maternity leave only caters to a privileged section of society, leaving a larger chunk neglected. Many big corporate firms like Airtel, Nestle, Flipkart, Micriosoft etc are now coming up with generous maternity leaves but strict laws that protect the rights of every woman need to be formulated.
Picture credit- Hindustan Times