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It’s Centre’s call, says SC on menstrual leave policy

The Supreme Court has acknowledged that menstrual pain leave has different “dimensions” that may act as a disincentive for employers from engaging women in their establishments.

The court has asked the petitioner to approach the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development Ministry to frame a policy on menstrual pain leave.

The court was also intrigued by a caveat filed by a law student that granting menstrual pain leave may operate as a de facto disincentive for employers to engage women in their establishments.

The petitioner seeks a direction to States to frame rules for granting menstrual pain leave for students and working women.

The court has recorded in its order that the petitioner should make a representation to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which may take an appropriate decision on the grievance of the petitioner.

Bihar and Kerala are the only States that allow menstrual pain leave.

The plea claimed that in spite of a provision under section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, that there will be an inspector for a particular area to monitor the implementation of provisions, no government in India has created the post of inspectors.

The various provisions of the 1961 Act recognise and respect motherhood and maternity of working women.

The petition stated that the menstrual period, the very first stage of the maternity, has been knowingly or unknowingly ignored by society, the legislature, and other stakeholders in society except a few organisations and State governments.

Source: The Hindu

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