4 August, Kathmandu: The Ministry of Health has intensified a process for increasing the duration of maternity leave from two months (60 days) to six months. The Ministry decided to proceed with extension of the maternal leave after realising the need of further policy-level reform to see improvement in the health of new mothers and infants.

Presently, female employees in the Civil Service and other government services are given a two-month maternity leave twice in a service period and male employees are given a 15-day maternal care leave while the two countries in the SAARC region–India and Bangladesh–have already implemented the provision of a six-month maternity leave.

The Ministry has already presented a bill relating to the reproductive health and safe motherhood to the Legislature-Parliament Secretary, proposing the extension to the maternal leave (twice in a service period).

Information about this was shared at a programme organised by the Child Health Division under the Department of Health Services to apprise the members on the Legislature-Parliament’s Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare Committee about the new provisions in the bill and the importance of breastfeeding to children at least for two years. Department Director Dr Rajendra Pant shed light on the subjects. RSS

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