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Paternity leave for teachers

Ranchi, Oct. 31: New fathers of DAV Nandraj High School will get 15 days paid paternity leave for their first two children, informed the school management today. The school authorities will initiate the leave from November 1.

This is the first school to start paternity leave for its employees in Jharkhand. The local Arya Samaj group runs the school.

Besides, the school will also provide other statutory leave, such as maternity leave up to 135 days for first two children, miscarriage leave up to 45 days, 8 days casual leave and 10 days earned leave, principal A.K. Karn said.

The school's decision could be a result of the Jharkhand government's move to bring teachers in private educational institutions and sales representatives under the purview of 'workmen' and the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act, 1947.

But, incidentally, the school is the first institute to have implemented paternity leave, which is extended only to the officers of All India Services, such as the IAS, IPS, IFS and IRS. Even PSU employees do not have paternity leave provision.

Labour commissioner Nidhi Khare said the school's move was a good indication, which hinted that employers were waking up to provide service conditions to their employees. She said the chief minister has also approved the proposal and a formal notification is likely to be issued soon.

The notification would benefit those who draw a basic salary of up to Rs 10,000 per month by granting them legal entity. The notification would also empower individual employees to take up their disputes with labour courts. Most of the prominent schools in the city, namely the DAV group of schools, DAV Shayamali, and DPS, already provide statutory leave to their workforce, but there are many who do not provide even earned leave to its teachers. However, no school gives paternity leave, despite many male teachers.

Cambrian Public School principal N.M. Mankad said they provide maternity leave to women teachers, but earned leave was meant only for non-teaching employees.

The scheme will also be extended to the teachers of Burdwan Compound branch, local Arya Samaj secretary Rajendra Arya said, and added that the facility of paternity or other leave will be applicable only for permanent employees.

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