Nursing moms can work from home for a year after child birth: Centre to Employers

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vulnerability of nursing mothers to the virus, the Central government has written to all States and Union Territories (UTs) to issue advisories to employers to allow nursing mothers to work from home for at least a year from the date of birth of the child.
In this regard, the Centre has asked State and UTs to take steps to create awareness about Section 5(5) of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, introduced in 2017, which permits work from home for nursing mothers. It is indeed a stellar move to ensure that the mother and child are safe and get enough rest to support themselves to get back to good health. 
“It is requested that advisories may be issued to employers for allowing more and more nursing mothers to work from home as per Section 5(5) of the Act wherever nature of work allows. The employers may be advised to allow work from home, wherever nature of work so allows, for nursing mothers at least for a period of one year from the date of birth of the child,” a communication by Joint Secretary to Government of India, Vibha Bhalla said.
In the context of prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, nursing mothers are a highly vulnerable lot and the need to protect this segment of population from getting infected by Coronavirus cannot be overemphasised, the statement said.
“Allowing nursing mothers to work from home can contribute to protecting them and their babies from getting infected,” the communication further added, giving a sigh of relief to many families struggling to cope with stringent rule of their employers. 
This move from the Centre comes as a breather while also ensuring that employers make their rules flexible for new mothers and take employee welfare seriously. 

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