Rajnath: OKays Maternity Child Care Leave for Women Soldiers of All Ranks

NEW DELHI: In a significant reform in military human resource policy, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday approved the grant of Maternity Child Care Leave (MCC Leave) to women officers of all ranks, a move that would enable them to take care of their newborn babies up to two years. The existing maternity leave, which is granted for 180 days (six months) in the Army and Air Force and 120 days (four months) in the Navy, is only available to women officers of the rank of Colonel and equivalent and below. The Minister has now approved the grant of MCC Leave for all women officers, irrespective of their rank and length of service. Once, this policy is implemented, the women officers will be able to take maternity leave in three spells, instead of the current two.
**First spell** – 6 months compulsory post-natal leave from the date of delivery.
**Second spell** – Up to 6 months optional leave.
**Third spell** – Up to one year child care leave.
The women officers can take the second and third spells of leave either immediately or within two years of the completion of the first spell. The women officers will be paid full pay and allowances during the entire period of maternity leave and child care leave. The Defence Minister has also approved the extension of the period of paid child care leave for women officers from three months to six months. .

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