Health: The Cabinet has endorsed the proposed six months paid maternity leave along with six months flexi time.

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden said the cabinet reviewed and made necessary changes on the proposal in the recent Cabinet meeting. The approved proposal has been sent to the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC).

“The cabinet has approved it but it’s still work in progress,” lyonpo said adding that the Cabinet has approved the proposal of six months mandatory paid maternity leave along with six months of flexi time.

The six months flexi time would allow breastfeeding mothers in the civil service to work for half day.

“According to our plans, it should come through by January 1,” RCSC chairman Karma Tshiteem said.

Following a proposal from the government in January this year and a study by the commission, RCSC recommended that mothers be given six months paid maternity leave. The recommendations were submitted to the Cabinet for approval last month.

Extending maternity leave was also one of the pledges of the government.

Health minister Tandin Wangchuk said he welcomed the approval and is happy that the Cabinet has endorsed it.

As of June this year, there are 9,210 female civil servants, which constitute 34.4 percent of the total 26,699 civil servants. Of that 8,847 females are regular civil servants and 363 are on contract. During the last eight years, almost an equal number of females and males entered the Civil Service.

The sector with the lowest number of female civil servants falls under the arts, culture and literary group, which includes culture officers and translation services, among others, at 0.02 percent.

As per the labour force survey 2014, a majority of women are employed in the agriculture sector at 101,425 followed by 36,238 in the private sector while the armed force employs 562 female and 236 are in the non-government organizations.

Nirmala Pokhrel