Maternity leave to cook-cum-helper also, 21 thousand women will get benefit under this scheme

Maternity Benefit himachal

Shimla: Cook-cum-helpers who prepare mid-day meals in schools will now also get the benefit of maternity leave. The Himachal government has issued instructions in this regard.

The Education Department has implemented the provision of leave with wages for 180 days to Cook women as per the Maternity Benefit Act 1961. Cooks with two or more children will not be able to avail the benefit of maternity leave.

In the government schools of the state, about 21 thousand cook-cum-helpers provide services to prepare and serve mid-day meal to the children of class 1st to 8th. They are paid only Rs 4,000 as salary and that too only for ten months.

Maternity Benefit himachal

In such a situation, the cook is forced to work even during the most critical days of pregnancy and there is a cut in salary for taking leave during delivery days.

The provision of mid-day meal across the country was introduced in 2005, during which time food was prepared in Anganwadi centres, whereas from 2007, a rule was made to prepare food in school kitchens and this responsibility was handed over to cook-cum-helpers. Mid-day meal cooks have been demanding maternity leave along with wages for the last several years.

Application will have to be made along with medical

To avail the benefit of 180 days leave with pay for delivery, the cook will have to submit his medical certificate along with it to DEO Elementary through the school head, from where it will be sent to the head office for approval.

After the cook going on maternity leave, the count of other cook-cum-helpers available in the school will have to be recorded. Apart from this, medical certificate will have to be attached.