Kathmandu, May 9
The government is preparing to extend maternity leave to six months for the purpose of enabling new mothers to breastfeed their children.
Currently, chapter 9 of the Labour Act, 2017, has the provision of 14 weeks of maternity leave including 60 days of paid leave and the remaining period of unpaid leave (spanning across pre-natal and post-natal periods). But section 13 of the Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act, 2018, says the leave of 98 days should be granted with pay.
But with the reports of the trend of breastfeeding declining among working mothers, the government is planning to almost double the leave period, informs Family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services.
To effect the change, the division has asked the Ministry of Health and Population to amend section 13 of the Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act, 2018.
“The ministry has already sent a draft of the amendment to the Ministry of Law. Now, the Law Ministry will finalise it and send it to the cabinet,” informs an official.