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An order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Friday said that all women employees of the central government would be entitled to 60 days of special maternity leave in case of death of the child immediately after birth. It said that the decision has been taken keeping in view the possible emotional trauma caused by the death of the child soon after birth, which has far-reaching implications for the life of the mother. DoPT stated that it is receiving several references/queries requesting for clarification regarding grant of leave/maternity leave in case of death of child immediately after birth/dead birth.
Decision in view of potential emotional trauma
The order said that the matter has been considered in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Keeping in view the possible emotional trauma caused by the death of a stillborn child or child soon after birth, it has been decided to grant 60 days special maternity leave to a female central government employee.
Orders issued to all Ministries/Departments
In case a female Central Government servant has not availed maternity leave, a special maternity leave of 60 days from the date of death of the child immediately following the birth/death may be granted. In the order issued to all the Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, it has been said that the condition of death of the child immediately after birth can be defined up to 28 days after birth. The DoPT stated that a child born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks of gestation can be defined as stillborn.
The benefit of special maternity leave will be admissible only to female Central Government employees with less than two surviving children and only for delivery in an authorized hospital. An authorized hospital is defined as a government hospital or private hospital empaneled under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). The DoPT order states that it is mandatory to produce emergency certificate in case of emergency delivery in an unlisted private hospital.