Thiruvananthapuram: In a move that is set to benefit thousands of women employees, including teachers, Kerala government has accorded maternity benefits to staff of private educational institutions. Teaching and non-teaching staff of private educational institutions, including unaided ones, in Kerala are now entitled for six months of paid maternity leave along with Rs 3,500 for treatment expenses.
The Kerala government has issued a notification to bring in the private educational sector within the ambit of Maternity Benefit Act, becoming the first state in the country to do so.
Kerala Minister T P Ramakrishnan said that the authorities concerned have to ensure that the Maternity Benefit Act is implemented in all institutions.
"This is the Left Democratic Front government's gift to women on the International Women's Day. We are also looking into the demands for recruiting women staff for night shift," he added.
Until now, there was no provision for maternity leave at the private educational institutions. The state cabinet gave the nod after demands were raised to extend the benefits of the law to the thousands of women in the sector. The notification to this effect was published in the extraordinary gazette of Saturday.
The education department will soon present a Bill on minimum wages for the teachers in the unaided sector.