National Women Convention
The first National women convention of Central Govt. employees was held at Maulali Yuba Kendra, Kolkata on 7th and 8th Feb. 2011. The convention began with the inaugural session chaired by Com. S.K. Vyas. President, Confederation and addressed by Com. K.K.N. Kutty, Secretary General. It was followed by an impressive procession taken out from K.G. Bose Bhawan, the Hqrs. of the COC West Bengal to the venue of the convention hall, participated by not only delegates but by thousands of women workers of various Central Govt. offices in Kolkata. The processionists carried placards, banners, flags and traversed a distance of about 3 to 4 Kms shouting slogans on demands specific to women workers. The processionists were greeted by various Central Government organizations; BSNL employees union and the Pensioners Association on the way
On convergence at the Yuba Kendra, which had been jam packed and overflowing, the open session was addressed by Com. Sudha Sundaraman, General Secretary, All India Democratic Women Association, New Delhi. In her hour and half speech, Com. Sudha Sundararaman touched upon various national and international issues, the problems and difficulties confronted by the working women employees in particular and the women in the Indian society in general. She exhorted the participants to be active in the Trade Union movement along with their men counterparts to bring about a strong and militant resistance movement to the neo liberal economic policies the pursuance of which has made the common people to suffer.
Earlier Prof. Jasodhara Bagchi, Chairperson, Reception Committee welcomed delegates and guests. In her speech she underlined the significance of the Convention, the background and history of the women's movement, the sterling role played by the women in the evolution of a civilized society.
The convention was greeted, inter alia, by Com M Krishnan, Secretary General, National Federation of Postal Employees, Com.Ashok B Salunkhe, Secretary General, Income Tax Employees Federation, Com.M S Raja, Secretary General, All India Audit & Accounts Employees Association, Com.K V Jayraj, General Secretary, National Federation of Atomic Energy Employees, ComVrigu Bhattacharjee, Secretary General, All India Civil Accounts Employees Association, Com.Somnath Bramha, General Secretary, All India Printing and Stationery Employees Federation, Com K V Sridharan, General Secretary, All India Postal Employees Union Group C, New Delhi.
The subject session which followed thereafter was conducted by a presidium consisting of the following comrades :
1. Com.Gita Ghoshal – ITEF(W.B)
2. Com.C P.Shobhana – NFPE (Kerala)
3. Com.Pushpeswari Devi – NFPE (AP)
4. Com.Neena Kumari Kujur - Audit(Odissa)
5. Com M Durga – Civil Accounts (Chennai)
The Secretary General, Confederation presented the report. The following 22 comrades participated in the deliberation on the report:
1. Vidya Bodas – ITEF, Mumbai 2. V Narmatha – Audit & Accounts, Delhi, 3. Deepa Sen Sharma – ITEF, NER 4. Lakshmi Swaminathan – Civil Accounts 5. Aruna V.B – AG's Office, Trivandrum 6. Jyothi Samel – NFAE 7. Damayanthi Loknath 8. Ratna Shome – NFPE Kolkata 9. Mausumi Majumder - NFPE Assam 10. R Geetha – CGHS Pondichery 11. Hemavani – NFPE Andhra Pradesh 12. Neelu Goutham – ITEF Lucknow 13. Premlatha Ramaswami – AG's Office Mumbai 14. Kalpana Dutta – Civil Accounts, Delhi 15. Kalpana Adhikary – CGWB Bhubaneswar 16. Nirmala G – ITEF Karnataka 17. Ariya Devi – NFPE Kerala 18. Manisha Biswas – BSNLEU, W.B 19. Annamma - Sreechitra Staff Union, Trivandrum 20.Namitha Banerjee – Audit & Accounts 21. Pushpita Dutta Gupta – Printing & Stationary, Kolkata.
The house was composed of 190 delegates and 13 observers representing various States and different Organizations of the CG employees. This apart the inaugural function was witnessed by 373 observers representing different CG employees' organization located in the city of Kolkata. After discussions the house adopted unanimously the report. On the basis of the deliberations in the house and presentations made by the above mentioned 22 delegates the house also decided to adopt the following resolutions. The full text of which will be published later.
A. To observe the International Women's day on 08.03.2011 at all State Capitals by organizing meetings/convention etc. to explain the significance of the women's movement and the need for organizing working women.
B. To demand that the Govt. take steps to pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha.
C. To set up committees in all offices to prevent sexual harassment as per the guidelines issued by the Govt.of India in this regard and ensure that such committees are headed by judicial officers of appropriate levels. To demand for an enactment in the Parliament to give the guidelines a statutory status.
D. To demand that the Govt. accepts all recommendations made by the 6th CPC in respect of women issues and orders issued thereon.
E. The orders presently issued by the Govt. in the matter of Child care leave has stipulated that the said leave has to be treated like Earned Leave. Since this has afforded discretion for the controlling officers to either grant, reject or reduce the period of leave. The house had decided to demand that such discretionary powers are not given to the sanctioning authorities.
F. To support and popularize the issues on which working class would be organizing march to Parliament on 23rd Feb.'11.
G. To ensure larger participation of women employees in all struggles against the neo-liberal economic policies.
Election of Womens' committee
In the post lunch session the house discussed the formation of a women's committee to give an organizational shape to carry out the decisions of the convention. Since a few of the affiliated organizations and certain states could not depute delegates to attend the convention, it was decided that the committee so formed should have the power to co-opt members to provide wider representation. On this understanding the convention selected the following comrades to constitute the committee.
1. Com. Gita Ghoshal - Chairperson, ITEF, W.B
2. Com. C P Shovona - Convenor, NFPE, Kerala
3. Com. Ninakumari Kujur - Member, Sudit, Odissa
4. Com. Nirmala - do , ITEF, Karnataka
5. Com. Kamalesh Kumari - do , Civil Accounts, Delhi
6. Com. Neha Talwar - do , NFAEE , Nagpur
7. Com. Lakshmi Devi - do , NFPE P3, A.P
8. Com. Rina Saha - do , NFPE P3, W.B
9. Com. Seethalakshmi - do , NFPE P4, Karnataka
10. Com. Narmada - do , Audit, T Nadu
11. Com. Mausumi Majumder- do , NFPE, Assam
12. Com. Tanushree Roy - do , ITEF, Odissa
13. Com. Roopa Bathna - do , Postal, MP
14. Com. Devaki Devi - do , Audit, HP
15. Com. Jyothi Samel - do , NFAEE, Mumbai
16. Com. Vidya Bhodse - do , ITEF, Mumbai
17. Com. Mansha Majumder - do , West Bengal
18. Com. Rumpa Kar - do , National Library, W.B
19. Com. Neelu Gautham - Member, ITEF, UP
20. Com. Geetha - do , Pondichery
21. Com. Narayani - do, Chitra Thirunal Research Institute,
22. Com. Kalpana Adhikari - do , Ground Water Board, Odissa
23. Com. L Kharstum - do , Civil Accounts, Meghalaya
The composition of the House
As per the credential committee's report submitted to the house of the 190 delegates who attended the convention 44 were office bearers of various Organizations; 22 Organizations and 13 States were represented in the convention; of the 373 observers 13 were pensioners; the youngest comrade who attended the convention was 28 years old and the oldest 58; the oldest amongst the pensioners was 76 years old and youngest 60. The convention was concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Com. M S Raja. On behalf of the delegates and observers and on behalf of the Central Hqrs. Of Confederation Com. M S Raja profusely thanked the co-ordination committee of West Bengal for the excellent arrangement made for the conduct of the convention and for the boarding and lodging of the delegates. The full text of the welcome speech, the Secretary General's report and the Introductory pamphlet issued by the Reception committee are enclosed. A few Photographs of the convention held at Kolkata has been placed on the website under this Circular letter.
Workers March to Parliament 23rd February, 2011
Even as per the very conservative observation 6 lakhs workers are reported to have participated in the great rally organized by the Central Trade Unions alongwith various Employees Federation on 23rd February, 2011 at New Delhi. It was a grand show of workers might and determination to fight against the neo-liberal economic policies of the Govt.of India. Confederation and its affiliates can be proud of the fact that the Central Govt. employees were part and parcel of this huge demonstration. Large number of comrades came from Delhi and neighboring States to participate in this rally. Many could not reach in time before we could start the procession from the identified spot of Jantar Mantar. Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gorakhpur , Bariely, Meerut, Agra, Gaziabad, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh brought large number of Central Govt. employees to participate in the rally. Similarly Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Alwar were the stations in Rajasthan which took pains to mobilize the Central Govt. Employees to go over to Delhi and be participants in the rally. Ambala, Faridabad, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Rewari where the stations in Haryana which sent in large number of employees to take part in the procession. Chandigarh, Jalandhar in Punjab also mobilized a good number of comrades to be at Delhi. The state committee of Delhi and its affiliated organisations worked hard to mobilize large number of employees to participate in the rally and obviously it did fructify in as much as unusually a large number of comrades came on their own and also in vehicles arranged by the respective organization to swell the number of Central Govt. employees in the rally. Almost all the states have sent in comrades to participate in the rally as per quota fixed by the Confederation. It was by far the best participation of the Central Govt. Employees in the mobilization of the workers against the Govt. India's economic policy in the recent days. We are pleased to inform that the quota we had fixed as the minimum number has been surpassed by all the States as also the affiliates. We place on record our sincere thanks and gratitude to the State level leaders and affiliates for the yeomen efforts undertaken by them to make this programme memorable. This had emboldened the National Secretariat of the Confederation which met on 24th to embark upon a mass Rally of Central Govt. Employee alone in the ensuing Monsoon session of the Parliament in pursuance of the demands specific to Central Govt. Employees. We request our affiliates and State Secretaries to convey our gratitude to each and every member who responded to this call and participated in this rally.
In order to enable the Secretariat to review the efforts undertaken by the States and Affiliates, which you will agree is a pre-requisite for effective and efficient functioning of the orgasnisation, we request you to send us a report within ten days of placing this circular to the website in the following format.
1. Details of the campaign programme undertaken by the leaders and the places visited.
2. Whether any pamphlet has been issued and if so the copy thereof may be sent to the CHQ.
3. The number of comrades participated from each station.
4. Whether the quota fixed could exceed/ be met or not met.
5. Amount spent for hiring bus, affording traveling expenses to the participating comrades etc.
(A few photographs taken by our comrades during the rally have been placed on the website under this circular letter)
The National Secretariat meeting held on 24th February, 2011and decisions
45 comrades (Secretariat members and the State Secretaries) participated in the meeting held on 24th February, 2011 at the CHQ. The meeting was convened as per the decision taken at the National council meeting held on 1st December, 2010 at Mumbai. The main Agenda for discussion was organizing the State/District committees and to ensure that conferences of these committees are held as specified in the constitution.
After discussion it was decided that UP state committee is to be reorganized as a single committee on 17th March 2011, at Lucknow. The NFPE has decided to organize a camp near Lucknow on 16th and 17th and the State Conference of the Confederation will be held on 17th at 10 AM at the same venue. It was also decided as a matter of fact that the Districts where there are few Central Govt. Organisations the District secretary shall be the nominee of NFPE and the committee shall have two other members selected by other prominent organizationas of the Central Govt. employees in the District. The conference will be held on the same lines in AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicober Islands, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Com Pijush Roy will take initiative to explore the possibility of setting up State committees in Tripura and Nagaland. The meeting noted that Meghalaya co-ordination committee was functioning well. In the absence of the representative from other State Committees, the meeting authorized the Secretary General and the available members of the Secretariat at Delhi to get in touch with those State Committee and ensure that the State Committees are formed wherever it is not functioning.
In order to propagate the demands included in the charter, conventions will be organized in all states. On 20th April, 2011 demonstration/lunch hour meetings will be organized in front of all offices to submit the charter of demands to the concerned Heads of Department. The National Secretariat will meet on 11th of June, 2011 at New Delhi to fix the date for the various programmes of action decided by the National Council meeting. The period between March to June is required to utilize for the purpose of Organizing state/District level conventions to popularize the demands. The affiliates will also organize all India meetings/conventions to popularize the demands in the charter so that horizontal and vertical campaign programme will be unleashed simultaneously.
P.S. Please see the Press Statement issued by the Confederation on the 2011 Budget of UPA Government.
Report for the first National women convention of Central Govt. employees
7th and 8th Feb. 2011 at Kolkata
On behalf of the National Secretariat of the Confederation, I welcome you delegates to the first National women convention of Central Govt. Employees being held at Kolkata on 7th and 8th Febn. 2011. To organise a separate convention of representatives of women employees working in Central Govt. Departments was the subject matter of discussions aty the last National Council meeting of the Confederation held at New Delhi from 4th to 6th December, 2009. While some of the affiliates of the Confederation which have larger number of women employees do organise such conventions and discuss issues specifically pertaining to the woken employees, such a convention under the auspices of Confederation had not been held earlier. While preparing the memorandum to be submitted to the 6th CPC, the Sectt. of the Confederation realised the absence of a collective view of the women employees on issues pertaining to them. The Staff Side of the National Council, JCM did give oral evidence before the commission inter alia on the women issue sans a single women representative in the said delegation. The irony of the situation speaks volumes of the need to have a serious effort to elicit the participation our women comrades in the T.U movement.
We are confident that our effort in organising the women conventions would be successful and will in he days to come pave way to strength our movement and elicit more and more involvement in the day to day functioning of the organisation. Though exact figures are not available, more than three lakh women employees work in various departments of the Government of India. We have given elsewhere in this report the extract from our memorandum to the 6th CPC and their recommendations thereon. We expect the participants in the convention to discuss inter alia the steps to be taken by the Confederation in (a) getting the recommendations accepted and implemented by the Government and (b) to raise the issues which were found unacceptable by the Commission itself.
Before we identify the grievances, issues, and problems faced by the women employees in the society which no doubt has a bearing on the problems confronted by them in work places, it is necessary that we touch briefly the socio political situation in the country.
The most important development that took place in the world arena is the global financial crisis that engulfed all developed economies. Hundreds of investment institutions, banks and other financial sector enterprises were collapsed rendering crores of workers jobless. Most of the capitalist countries drew heavily from the exchequer to bail out the capitalists. Almost all developing countries, which adopted the liberalisation, globalisation, privatisation policy of development became the victims of the crisis and adopted the same remedial measures as was taken by the developed countries i.e. transfer the tax payers money to the coffers of big enterprises. If our country's economy could survive the crisis it was only because that the workers did not allow, the neo liberal policies to have an unbridled run so easily. Be it the privatisation of LiC, reducing the Governmentr stake in Bank and other financial institution, selling of shares of PSUs, the workers and the left parties especially made stubborn resistance. In the name of the crisis, the Government provided hefty bail out packages to the monopoly houses and transnational corporations, which only accentuated the amassing of huge profits. The Govt. Was clearly abetting the policy of big entrepreneurs of placing profit before the people's interest. Throughout the word, the workers resistance to the brazen policy of exploitation grew tremendously, the latin American countries being in the forefront.
The workers upsurgence against the neo liberal policies erupted throughout the world. Huge demonstrations were organised at the venue of the meetings of WTO and G20. In Seoul, where the last meeting of the G20 nations were held, in which Dr. Manmohan Singh was a participant, lakhs of workers assembled to protest against the anti worker policies of these nations. The May day rally in 2010 was by far the biggest in France, Germany, USA, Turkey and Switzerland.
On 7th September, 2010, our country witnessed the greatest mobilisation of workers in the one day strike. Confederation and its affiliates actively took part in organising the said strike action. The country's economy suffered the highest inflation during the last three years. The prices of all essential commodities shot up beyond the reach of common man. The number of workers in the organised sector was drastically reduced. Casual and contract workers took the jobs in all organisations be in the private or public sector, which are of permanent and perennial nature. Outsourcing became the key word of all enterprises as a means of increasing profits. Governmental sector had been no exception. About 9 lakh jobs in the Group D segment were abolished in Govt. Departments. The job that was hitherto carried out by the Group D employees will now be handed over to the contractor worker. Even Group C functions have now been earmarked for outsourcing in many departments. Those recruited after 1.1.2004, as regular employees will have no statutory pension. While this is the state of affairs in the organised sector, the agony of workers in unorganised sector need require no description. The workers have started now realising the real purport of the neo liberal economic policies and that reflected in their unstinted co-operation in making the 7th September, Strike a magnificent success.
An overwhelming segment of the unorganised sector workers are women. The women are traditionally to look after the children and elderly, cook food, take of the sick in the home and also to work as unpaid labourer. The inability to find wage employment force them to seek self employment. Such self employed women constitute 48% of the total urban women workers in our country. In the last three decades, i.e. ever since the liberal economic policies were ushered in, the organised sector employment has shrunk and the unorganised sector has been expanding. The number of unorganised labour in the organised sector, like contract workers, casual workers, outsourced workers, temporary workers etc. Has increased leaps and bounds.
Working women in certain unorganised sector:
Agriculture: Large majority of the workforce in agriculture sector are women In States like A.P. they constitute about 60%.
Traditional Sectors. Cashew, Coir, Plantation, Beedi, fisheries etc. The Traditional Sector had large number of women employees. The Free Trade Agreements like the ASEAN etc. Has drastically reduced their number.
Export oriented industries. One of the propaganda unleashed by the proponents of the Liberalisation policies was that there would be phenomenal employment generation in the export oriented industries especially for women, whereas there had been no significant increase. In fact in 2004-05 the number of women employees in this sector was only slightly higher than what it was in 1983-84. Even in urban areas in this secotr, younger women are employed at lower wages than before.
Retail Trade, HH Hotel, Restaurants etc. The women workforce in these sectors has declined compared to 1999-2000. The increase was registered in garments and domestic private household. Domestic workers in the country now number more than 30 lakhs and is 12% of all urban women workforce.
Home Based workers. As per the survey 82.5% of the home based wokers were women They are among the most exploited workers . 60% of the home based workers earn less than Rs. 1000 p.m. despite working more than 8 hours per day and do not get even 20 working days in a month.
Retail Trade. Lakhs of women were employed in retail trade. In 1999-2000 14% of the total urban workers were women in Retail Trade. This has gone down significantly since then.
Special Economic Zones. Young women with an average age of 20-25 are employed in this sector. No labour laws are made applicable to them. The SEZs are declared as Public utilities, thereby denying them all trade union rights and facilities. They are not permitted to organise any protest actions. Most of them are required to work beyond the specified working hours without any additional remuneration. They are to face innumerable difficulties a the workspot. No basis safety or health precautions are observed in the SEZ. Women workers especially have become victims of various health hazards, such as chronic headache, stress related fatigue, backache, disturbance of menstrual cycle, loss of weight etc.
I.T and ITES sectors. The general perception that the IT and ITES sectors have opened up larger employment avenue is not true. Women workers in this sector constitutes just 0.3% of the urban women workers. In the entire financial sector, they constitute just 1.4% only.
These are some of the conditions of the working women in various sectors. The convention while taking note of the general scenario will specifically discuss the various issues, demands, the confederation had raised before the 6th CPC through its memorandum, the extract of which is reproduced hereunder. Placed hereunder is also the extract of the recommendations of the Commission. The convention will advise the National Executive of the steps to be taken by the Confederation in getting these recommendations accepted by the Government as also the issues which we had projected before the Commission but did not favour with it. This apart the convention will discuss the problem faced by the women members at their respective workspot and the facilities required to be demanded from the Government.
Organisationally, the Confederation must have a women sub-committee to be elected from this convention to have a periodical interaction with women employees. Such committees are to be formed in each State too.
With this objective, we present this brief report for the consideration of our delegates who will be attending the first national convention of the Women employees of the Central Government departments.
The V CPC had noted that women constitute 7.51%[2.83 lakhs] of the total Central Govt. employees(1994-95) and 98% of the women employees are concentrated in Gr.C and D cadres, most of them being in Ministries of Communication, Railways and Defence. We do not have the latest figures of women employees, This can, however, be said that number of women employees in the last 12 years must have grown.
7.2 The V CPC recognized the need for provision of special facilities for women employees and recommended the following measures.
a) The concept of flexi-time may be tried out on an experimental measure in some offices where jobs are measurable and further extension may be considered later. Similarly the concept of flexi place could be tried out in some selected areas where work even if not done at workplace is strictly measurable.
b) Introduction of a voluntary system of option for serving women employees to work half time for a maximum period of six years in a career when the children are young and family commitments are at the maximum. This half time working may be accompanied with half of the Pay & allowances but not detract from other benefits like housing, LTC, Pensionary entitlement etc. The Govt. should work out the scheme in detail.
c) The Govt. have set up day-care centres and crèches in some places but their number is far below the requirement. The Govt. should consider to set up more day-care centres on Govt. land, construction of building being financed by Govt. Welfare funds. More Crèches in offices or major residential areas may be set up by the Govt..
d) While not agreeing with recommendation for 30% sub-reservation of women in public employment in each of the categories for SC/ST, OBC and General Category made by the National Commission for Women, the V CPC thought that a better method to ensure greater participation would be to identify certain professions which could be better manned by women such as education, health, nursing care, secretarial duties, computer work etc. At the same time the V CPC also felt that women should not be debarred from any profession including armed Forces, CPOs etc. For better womens participation and bring them into the mainstream, schemes for education of women may also be strengthened and strategies worked out for achieving equal opportunity for women.
e) The age of recruitment for women employees may be enhanced to 35 years.
f) Govt. may earmark funds separately for construction of more single women's' hostel. There should also be some scheme to assure housing for married women employees.
g) The existing guidelines for posting of husband and wife at the same station needs to be reiterated and expanded to include the provision that where posts at the appropriate level exist in the organization at the same stations, the husband and wife may invariably be posted together in order to enable them to lead a normal family life and look after the welfare of the children especially till the children are 10 years of age. Where only the wife is Govt. servant, some guidelines may be framed to facilitate posting in a station where husband is employed.
h) The Ministries having a higher concentration of women employees may consider to provide for higher leave reserve.
i) Arranging charted 'ladies-special' buses in bigger cities.
j) The basic requirement of public convenience facilities for women employees may be completely met by setting aside funds for the purpose.
k) Where husband and wife are both Govt. employees the creation of an earned leave bank to be availed of by either spouse may be considered only for a period needed for rearing very young children(such period not exceeding six years in all), provided the women employee has exhausted the earned leave at her credit and there is earned leave to the credit of her husband.
7.3 We find that the recommendations at a);b);e);f);j);&k) have not even considered by the Govt. and therefore, have not been implemented. The action taken to implement the recommendation at c) and i) is not enough.
7.4 These recommendations at (d) above is very vague and general. What is needed is to implement the recommendations of the National Womens Commission for 30% sub-reservation which will automatically enthuse women to equip them and bring them in the mainstream.
7.5 The recommendation at (g) above also remains to be implemented. It is observed that in spite of the existing guidelines for posting husband and wife in the same station, it is not being observed particularly in case of Gr.C women employees. These guidelines have to be made mandatory so that the posting of husband and wife in the same station is ensured.
Women employees in Central Government
Introduction 4.7.1 As per the Census of Central Government employees, 2001, women constitute 7.53% (2.92 lakhs) of the total regular Central Government employees. The participation of women is the highestin the Communications and IT Ministries. Ministries of Defence and Railways also have a substantial number of women employees.
Views of previous Pay Commissions and present scenario
4.7.2 Keeping in view the dual responsibilities borne by working women and the increasing practical difficulties in balancing work and family responsibilities, previous Pay Commissions made recommendations for providing special facilities for women in terms of provision of residential accommodation for single women, provision of transport facilities, introduction of concepts such as flexi time and flexi-place on trial basis, options for working half time during the period that children are young , etc. The provisions made by the Central Government for women employees include age relaxation for appointment in Group 'C' and 'D' posts, exemption from educational qualifications for compassionate appointments to widows of deceased Government employees, maternity and paternity leave benefits, guidelines for provision of crèche facilities as well as for posting of husband and wife at the same station.
Demands of the Staff Side
4.7.3 In the memoranda received by the Sixth Pay Commission, it has been suggested that earlier recommendations of flexi-time, flexiplace as well as half day working should be implemented and that the guidelines for posting of husband and wife at the same station made mandatory. Other suggestions in regard to women employees include provision of rest rooms and refreshment rooms at the work place, safe transport facilities, child care allowance at the rate of Rs.1000 per child till the child attains the age of 10, voluntary retirement for women after 15 years of service, etc.
Position in other countries
4.7.4 A number of countries have provided facilities to working women by either providing for longer maternity leave or day-care centers, staggered working hours to start and finish work early or late, restricting overtime and late night working, part time leave of up to two hours a day till the child is 3 years old, child-care leave which can be divided into periods for both parents to take care of the child alternately, spouse maternity leave, etc
Recommendations 4.7.5 The Commission has studied the facilities provided in other countries and taken into account the demands made in this regard. It is the considered opinion of the Commission that adequate
facilities need to be provided to ensure that more women take up public employment and to enable them to balance the dual responsibilities of looking after children and work. In pursuance of this, the Commission makes the following recommendations: -
(i) The concept of staggered worki-g hours needs to be introduced for women employees as it would give flexibility to employees to work either early or late depending on their requirements at the home front. Under this scheme, 11 AM to 4 PM will be core hours during which all women employees will necessarily need to be present in the office. They will, however, have the option of either coming upto one and a half hours earlier or leaving upto two hours late depending upon the actual time they have clocked in. The time may be adjusted in case the office follows different work hours. For this arrangement to succeed, biometric entry/exit would be required.
(ii) The concept of child care leave exists in countries like Japan & Netherlands where women employees are allowedleave to look after the needs of their children. A similar facility needs to be extended in Central Government as it will facilitate women employees to take care of their children at the time of need. All women employees having minor children may, therefore, be allowed total leave of upto two years (i.e. 730 days) for taking care of upto 2 children whether for rearing the children or looking after any of their needs like examination, sickness, etc. Child care leave should also be allowed for the third year as leave not due. However, no child care leave shall be given for achild who is eighteen years of age or older.
(iii) Although instructions exist in regard to setting up of daycare- centers/crèches in offices or major residential areas, most Departments have not created such facilities. The setting up of these crèches should be made mandatory in offices where the employees, male and female, have preschool or primary school going children. This will enable male employees also to keep their children in such crèches. These crèches could also be run on contributory basis so that appropriate standard of facilities is maintained.
(iv) Maternity leave of 135 days is presently permitted to women employees for two children. Further, leave up to a period of one year can be availed of in continuation of maternity leave. Keeping in view the guidelines of Ministry of Health & FW which recommends nursing of children till the age of 6 months, the Commission recommends that maternity leave should be increased from135 days at present to 180 days. Further, the period of leave which can be availed of in continuation of maternity leave should be increased to 2 years instead of one year at present.
(v) One of the major problems faced by single working women is that of residential accommodation. The Commission recommends that Government should address this issue in all seriousness and either build or lease working women's hostels so that the initial years of service are smooth.
(vi) Government has enacted several legislations for the protection of women such as the Domestic Violence Act. Itis recommended that the provisions of these Acts may be incorporated in the CCS (Conduct) Rules and violationsshould call for disciplinary action. Government will, therefore, serve as an example by ensuring that provisionsof these Acts are first implemented within.
(vii) Insofar as Transfer TA is concerned, only one transfer grant is permitted if the transfer of husband and wife takes place within 6 months of each other from the same place to the same place. This condition places unreasonable difficulty because the transferred spouse has to take some essential household items even for periods less than six months. It is recommended that fifty percent of the transfer grant on transfer should be allowed to the spouse transferred later in case the transfer takes place within six months but after 60 days of the transfer of the spouse transferred earlier. No
such transfer grant shall be admissible in case where both the transfers are ordered within 60 days. The existing provisions shall continue in case of transfers after a period of six months or more. Other rules precluding transfer grant in case of request transfer or transfer other than on public interest shall continue to apply unchanged in their case