The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that child care leave has to be applied for in advance by a woman employee working with the Haryana Government.
Justice Rajiv Narain Raina of the High Court has also made it clear that it can be availed after the go-ahead by the authorities concerned. The permission for child care leave cannot be granted ex post facto (with retrospective force).
The development is significant as Haryana Government rules make it clear that child care leave is admissible to a woman government employee for a maximum period of two years or 730 days during her entire service for taking care of her surviving children.
It is permissible only for the first two children of the government employee. Their age has to be below 18 years for the mother to avail the leave.
The ruling by Justice Raina came on a petition by Shashi Bala against the state and other respondents. A government employee, she moved the High Court after the department concerned refused to grant ex post facto permission for child care leave.
Taking up her petition, Justice Raina asserted that by the very nature of things, child care leave has to be applied for in advance and due permission needs to be accorded. The right was valuable, because a woman employee would get full salary for the period of child care leave.
“It cannot be applied for to act retrospectively and therefore, there is nothing wrong in the department holding that ex post facto permission cannot be granted,” Justice Raina asserted.
Before parting with the order, Justice Raina observed that the first request in the case in hand was made on April 6, 2011, for granting backdated child care leave with effect from November 30, 2010, to March 30, 2011. Dismissing the plea, Justice Raina added that there was no merit therein.
Haryana Government rules suggest that child care leave cannot be demanded as a matter of right and no one can, under any circumstances, proceed on child care leave without prior proper sanction by the competent authority.
Child care leave is also admissible during the probation period, provided the probation period is extended by the period of child care leave availed. Besides this, the leave may not be availed for a period of less than 30 days.