Maternity Benefits , Child Care and Crèche Facilities

Maternity Benefits , Child Care and Crèche Facilities offered by employers in Sri Lanka. Maternity benefits for private and public sector employees.

 Provisions for Maternity benefits for private and public sector women workers

The Maternity Benefits Ordinance applies to private sector workers and also for workers on the estates, while the Shop and Office Employees Act addresses Maternity benefits under Section 18 (A to H) in relation to white color employees in the private sector.

Under the Maternity Benefits Ordinance, lactating mothers are allowed a period of 2 hours of paid leave per day as nursing intervals during the first six months to nurse their new born children.

See the article on Maternity benefits on this website for more details.


Day-care and crèche facilities provided by employers for women workers with children

Under Section 3 of the Maternity Benefits Ordinance in instances where the employer has made alternative arrangements for providing women workers employed on his estate with maternity benefits, the Commissioner of Labour may issue a certificate to the employer exempting him from the mandatory provision of 84 working days paid leave for the woman worker as a maternity benefit, in respect of the first two live births.

Those alternative maternity benefits are available to every woman worker resident on the employer’s estate and to those not resident on the estate, but who have given prior notice of confinement in the prescribed manner and seeking the alternative benefits.

Any woman worker who chooses not to avail of the alternative maternity benefits, will not be entitled to receive the maternity benefit of 84 days of paid leave.

If the Commissioner is unsatisfied that the employer is providing the alternative benefits as claimed, the Commissioner may cancel the certificate of exemption.

The alternative benefits would include: a maternity ward or lying-in-room for the use of the woman worker, the services of a midwife at the time of confinement, a period of not less than 10 days in the maternity ward or lying - in - room and the provision of free food during this period. The woman worker should be paid such benefits at the rate of 4/7th of the benefits due.

In the event the women worker delivers twins on the first confinement, she will be entitled to 42 days as maternity leave on the basis that she already has two living children. It is important to note that it is the number of children at the time of the confinement that is considered and not the number of previous confinements. Estates also provide crèches for the new born children of their workers.

In the cases of employers who have a staff cadre comprising mostly women, such as some garment factories et al, some of them provide day-care facilities for the young children of the workers. However though previously efforts had been made to make this facility available under the law, it has still not been legislated upon, even though the working population of women in Sri Lanka is 2.5 million out of a labour force of 7.7 million.

As such since the provision of day-care facilities for children of workers is not a requirement under law, it is provided on an ad-hoc basis and is considered a staff welfare facility or an act of corporate social responsibility.

 

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