The Karnataka Government is possibly the first State to roll out the draft rules making crèche facility mandatory for establishments having 50 more employees.
The Government of Karnataka, Labour Department (“The Department”) has rolled out the Draft Karnataka Maternity (Amendment) Rules, 2018 (“Draft Rules”) which is bringing in provisions with respect to Crèche facilities by amending the Karnataka Maternity Rules, 1966 (“Principal Rules”).
The Department has called for comments / suggestions, if any on the Draft Rules, which may be addressed to the Secretary to Government, Department of Labour, Government of Karnataka, 4th Floor ,Vikasa Soudha, Bengaluru—560001 within 20th August, 2018.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Amendment) had received the President’s assent on the 27th March, 2017 and most of its provisions including the requirement to have the crèche facility is effective since 1st July, 2017.
Amongst the highlights of this Amendment such as increasing the maternity leave to 26 weeks, option to work from home, one of the major highlight is that upon having 50 or more employees, every establishment is required to have the facility of crèche within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities. The employer is required to allow four visits a day to the crèche by the woman, which will also include the interval for rest allowed to her.
In a response to this requirement, the Government has recently rolled out the Karnataka Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Rules, 2018, where a new Rule 6-A detailing the requirement of crèche facility has been inserted. This is consequent to Section 4 of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, which makes its mandatory for establishments having 50 or more employees to provide and maintain a Crèche.
As per the Draft Rules, on meeting the required threshold, an employer will be required to provide and maintain a Crèche for the use of children who are below the age of 6 years.
The Crèche facility should meet the standards provided in the Draft Rules.
The key standards are given below:
- Location: for every 30 children there should be 1 crèche, within the premises of the establishment or within 500 meters from the entrance gate of the establishment.
- Building and Facilities: the crèche building should be made of heat resisting materials on the ground floor, safe and waterproof with proper ventilation, open at both day and night as per the working hours of the women employees. Several specifications w.r.t. the height of the room, kitchen facilities and the equipment’s which the employer will be required to provide is also mentioned.
- Staff: only women with an approval from the Government who has qualified and trained in “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE) or Teachers Course Higher (TCH) or equivalent is allowed to be work as crèche-in charge during the absence of the warden or their mothers.
- Working Hours: The crèche should be open as per the shifts of the women employees, in two or more shifts, depending on the working hours of the mothers, while not exceeding 8 hours a shift.
- Maintenance of Basic medical records: First Aid kit, BMI and periodical medical check-ups are mandatory and these need to be recoded and maintained.
- Supply of Milk and Refreshment: At least 250ml of pure hygienic milk should be provided for each child every day, with at least 4 visits allowance to such mothers in a day to feed the child.
- Supply of Clothes, soap and oil: The crèche staff should be provided with clean clothes while on duty and adequate supply of clean soap, clothes and oil should be provided by the employer for each child in the crèche.
- Outdoor Play Facilities: the employer will have to ensure that the children have access to outdoor play space which is safe, secure and well-maintained for the children.
Source: Government of Karnataka