As a fallout of the the Maternity (Amendment) Bill 2017, companies with more than 10 staff, now need to provide paid maternity leave of 6 months as compared to three months earlier. In the words of India’s labor minister, women have just been given a “humble gift” of six months paid maternity leave
Consequently, its a Catch 22 situation for certain categories of interviewers in India these days
Often, SMEs and start-ups are not in a position to bear the financial implications of the same. Finding temporary replacements is quite difficult,.There are chances that some women may misuse this benefit by being in employment till they conceive, getting the benefit of maternity, and not rejoining after that.
The possibility of somebody not being able to contribute for six months at a stretch will be a huge deal breaker
in France, the 16 weeks of maternity leave is paid for by public healthcare Similarly, in Denmark, the leave period is either funded by the employer or the Udbetaling Danmark, the authority which is responsible for collecting and disbursing public funds. In Bulgaria, too, mothers are entitled to 410 days of maternity leave at 90 per cent of their gross salary paid by the National Health Insurance Fund.
There is no such provision in India, nor an tax breaks
So, purely from a cost perspective, one often seeks to ask in the interview
a) Are you married?
b) Do you have or plan to have children ?
In the UK, a poll conducted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has revealed that almost 60% of employers think a woman applying for a job should disclose whether she is pregnant.
Of the 1,106 male and female ‘decision-makers’ surveyed, 46% think it is reasonable, during a recruitment process, to ask women if they have young children and 36% think they should be able to ask if she plans to start a family.
Just under half of those asked think women should be employed by the same company for at least a year before taking maternity leave and about one third believe that women who become pregnant are ‘generally less interested in career progression’.
But then that is a personal and potentially discriminatory nature question that illegal to ask in many geographies around the world.
A perverse consequence of outlawing conversations about pregnancy-plans is that bosses might work on the assumption that all young women are about to take successive maternity leaves
What if small businesses form a rule of thumb ‘”Don’t hire anyone with children under 10″ . You never know what are their plans
So, how do we reconcile the two contradictions?
What are your views on this?
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Sonia Singal : cajobportal.com
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