7th Pay Commission Recommendations on Leave Rules
The following paragraphs bring out, in alphabetical order, the different kinds of holidays and leave admissible, demands received (if any) and views of the Commission on each one of them. Unless otherwise stated, the existing terms and conditions regulating these holidays and leave shall remain unchanged.
Casual Leave (CL) : Casual Leave is granted to enable a government servant to attend to sudden/unforeseen needs/tasks. Presently 8 days CL is normally granted to a Central Government employee per calendar year. The number goes up to 10 days for Industrial Workers, 20 days for Defence Officers and 30 days for Defence PBORs. Certain other categories of staff, particularly in the Railways, are granted CL ranging from 11 to 13 days in a year. Demands have been made to increase the number of CL to 15 days for Industrial Workers and 12 days for other employees. CAPFs have also sought parity with defence forces in matters of Casual Leave.
Analysis and Recommendations : Regarding the number of Casual Leave, the Commission is of the view that the present system is working well and need not be altered. As far as the case of CAPFs for parity with defence forces is concerned, the Commission notes that CAPFs are essentially civilian forces and their service conditions are different from defence forces. Hence parity in terms of number of casual leave cannot be considered. To sum up, status quo is recommended.
Child Adoption Leave : This leave is granted to female employees, with fewer than two surviving children on valid adoption of a child below the age of one year, for a period of 135 days immediately after the date of valid adoption.
Analysis and Recommendations : No demands have been received regarding this leave. Accordingly, status quo may be maintained.
Child Care Leave (CCL) : Child Care Leave (CCL) is granted to women employees for a maximum period of two years (i.e., 730 days) during their entire service for taking care of their minor children (up to eighteen years of age). There are several demands relating to CCL which include converting the same into “family care” leave, extending the facility to male parents and many representations stressing that it should be extended at least to single male parents. Suggestions have also been received that in cases where the child is differently abled, the clause stipulating that the child should be minor, should be done away with. Single mothers have highlighted their unique problems and requested the Commission for liberalising the grant of CCL. Interestingly, representations have also been made for discontinuance of the CCL, primarily on the grounds that it disrupts office working and also because it promotes gender discrimination.
Analysis and Recommendations : When CCL was first introduced by the VI CPC it generated considerable interest as it represented a positive measure benefiting women employees. It also took a while to stabilise and it is seen that as many as five amendments/clarifications were issued within a short period of time. As it stands, it is meant for women employees “for taking care of up to two children whether for rearing the children or looking after their needs like examination, sickness etc.” It is treated akin to Earned Leave and is sanctioned as such. It may not, however, be granted in more than three spells in a calendar year.
In the first two years of its implementation the experience was that women employees tended to treat this as Casual Leave or an extension of the same, and the resultant frequent absences caused disruptions at work. To address this, in September 2010, a clarification was issued stipulating that CCL may not be granted in more than three spells in a calendar year and also that it may not be granted for less than 15 days at a time. However, the latter stipulation was subsequently withdrawn and as per the latest clarification issued on 5 June, 2014 the government has decided to remove the requirement of minimum period of 15 days CCL. It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the capping of maximum three spells in a calendar year has, to some extent, addressed the problems relating to disruption of work.
Notwithstanding that, in the course of discussions with various stakeholders, the sense that has come across is that what was introduced as a welfare measure to help employees in times of need, is seen as a benefit that has to be availed simply because it exists. There is, therefore, a palpable need to bring in some inhibiting feature so as to ensure that only genuinely affected employees avail of this scheme. Towards this end the Commission recommends that CCL should be granted at 100 percent of the salary for the first 365 days, but at 80 percent of the salary for the next 365 days. In making this recommendation the Commission has also kept in mind the fact the concept of a paid (whether 100% or 80%) leave solely for child care for a period of two years, is a liberal measure unmatched anywhere else.
The Commission notes that in the event a male employee is single, the onus of rearing and nurturing the children falls squarely on his shoulders. Hence extension of CCL to single male parents is recommended. Moreover, the Commission recognizes the additional responsibility on the shoulders of employees who are single mothers. Accordingly, it is recommended that for such employees, the conditionality of three spells in a calendar year should be relaxed to six spells in a calendar year.
Commuted Leave : Presently, Commuted Leave not exceeding half the amount of half-pay leave due can be taken on medical certificate. A demands have been made to do away with the need for medical certificate.
Analysis and Recommendations : The Commission does not find merit in the demand. Status Quo is recommended.
Earned Leave (EL) or Leave on Average Pay (LAP) : Presently 30 days EL per annum is granted to Civilian employees and 60 days to Defence personnel. EL can be accumulated up to 300 days in addition to the number of days for which encashment has been allowed along with LTC. Suggestions have been made to increase the accumulation to 450 days, allow encashment of 50 percent of the accumulated EL after 20 years of service and delink encashment of leave from LTC. A novel concept of “gifting” has been put forward, wherein employee should be allowed to ‘gift’ certain number of days of leave to one’s spouse or one’s colleague. “Vacational” staff like teachers, principals, etc. have demanded restoration of 10 days EL, which was changed to 20 days Half Pay Leave by VI CPC.
Analysis and Recommendations : In many organizations, employees are encouraged to take leave on the premise that it revitalizes them and is beneficial for the organization in the long run. Such a system is not prevalent in the government sector in India, but substituting leave with cash is also not desirable. Hence, no change in encashment guidelines is recommended.
The Commission recognizes that Earned Leave is, as the name suggests, earned by an employee through the services rendered. Hence, it is personal to the employee and the concept of “gifting” cannot be considered. The demand of “Vacational” staff can, however, be agreed to. Hence, it is recommended that “Vacational” staff be granted 10 days EL in place of 20 days Half Pay Leave. Other than this no other change is recommended.
Extra Ordinary Leave (EOL) : EOL is granted to a government servant when no other leave is admissible or when other leave is admissible, but the government servant applies in writing for extraordinary leave. This leave is neither debited to leave account nor is any leave salary paid. No demands have been received regarding this leave. Accordingly, status quo may be maintained.
Furlough Leave : This leave is admissible only to defence officers for up to 60 days. It can be availed at half pay, once in a cycle of three calendar years. No demands have been received regarding this leave. However, the Commission is of the view that Furlough Leave is a legacy of the pre Independence era. Since defence officers are already entitled to double the Earned Leave and more than double the Casual Leave available to civilian employees, there is no justification for continuation of Furlough Leave. Hence, it is recommended that Furlough Leave be abolished.
Half Pay Leave (HPL) or Leave on Half Average Pay (LHAP) : Presently, government employees are entitled to 20 days of Half Pay Leave for each completed year of service, credited @10 days on the 1st of January and 1st of July every year. There are representations that encashment of HPL should be allowed at the time of superannuation.
Analysis and Recommendations : The demands lack merit. Elsewhere in the report it has been recommended that 20 days HPL granted to “Vacational” staff be converted into 10 days EL. Hence, HPL will henceforth not be available to them. No change other than this is recommended.
Hospital Leave : This leave is granted to Group `C’ Railway employees if they are suffering from illness or injuries directly due to risks incurred in the course of official duties, on production of medical certificate. Full pay is admissible for first 120 days and half pay thereafter. The leave may be combined with any other kind of leave due and admissible, provided total period of leave does not exceed 28 months. Demands have been received to increase this leave to an unlimited period of time as applicable to PBORs of defence forces.
Analysis and Recommendations : This has been discussed under Special Disability Leave
Leave Not Due (LND) : LND is granted when the employee has no half-pay leave at credit and he/she requests for the grant of Leave Not Due. It is granted only on medical certification, if the leave sanctioning authority is satisfied that there is a reasonable prospect of the employee returning to duty on its expiry. LND during the entire service is limited to a maximum of 360 days and will be debited against the half-pay leave that the employee may earn subsequently. No demands have been received regarding this leave. Accordingly, status quo may be maintained.
Maternity Leave : Maternity leave is granted to women government employees–up to 180 days for pregnancy and 45 days in the entire service for miscarriage/abortion. Maternity leave can be combined with any other leave upto two years without medical certificate. The Commission has received representations for enhancement of Maternity leave to 240 days with full pay and further 120 days with half pay.
Analysis and Recommendations : It is noted that Maternity Leave was raised from 135 days to 180 days and ‘period in continuation’ raised from 1 year to 2 years by the VI CPC. No further increase is warranted. Status quo is recommended.
Paternity Leave : Presently, a male employee with less than two surviving children may be granted Paternity Leave for a period of 15 days during the confinement of his wife, up to 15 days before or six months from the date of delivery of child. Paternity leave may also be granted to a
government servant with less than two surviving children on valid adoption of a child below the age of one year, within a period of 6 months from the date of valid adoption. There are demands to increase the period to 30 days.
Analysis and Recommendations : Present dispensation of 15 days is adequate. Status quo may be maintained.
Sick Leave : This leave is admissible to defence personnel only on account of sickness attributable/ aggravated due to service conditions. Full pay is granted for the entire duration of hospitalization. Beyond that, defence officers are allowed Sick Leave with full pay and allowances for first six months and fully pay only for next 18-24 months, while there is no such limit for PBORs. There are demands from CAPFs for complete parity with defence forces in respect of provisions of Sick Leave.
Analysis and Recommendations : Discussed under Special Disability Leave.
Special Casual Leave (SCL) : SCL is granted to employees to cover their absence from duty for various occasions like sports events, cultural activities, participation in Republic Day Parade, voluntary blood donation, Trade Union meetings, etc. Full pay is granted during SCL and it can be sanctioned with retrospective effect also. There are demands to extend SCL to organ donors till the time they are fit to resume duty.
Analysis and Recommendations : The Commission would like to express its concern at the widespread use of SCL as a means of getting away from duty. However, because of the extensive scope and case specific nature of this leave, no concrete recommendations can be made. The government may, however, consider the following suggestions:
1. Review the purposes for which SCL is presently granted.
2. Limit the number of purposes for which an employee can be granted SCL in a year.
3. Limit the total number of days that an employee can be granted SCL in a year.
Special Disability Leave : It is admissible to civilian employees when disabled by injury intentionally or accidentally inflicted or caused by or in consequence of the due performance of official duties or in consequence of official position held. Full pay is admissible for the first 120 days and half pay thereafter. The leave may be combined with any other kind of leave due and admissible, provided the total period of leave does not exceed 24 months. There are demands to remove the ceiling limit of 24 months–the duration of leave may be left to the discretion of doctor and full pay paid for the entire period.
Analysis and Recommendations : There are three different kinds of leave admissible to civilian/defence employees which are granted for work related illness/injuries–Hospital Leave, Special Disability Leave and Sick Leave. It is an established worldwide practice that employees who suffer illness/injuries that are attributable to/aggravated in the course of their duty need to be adequately compensated. However, due to the inherent difference between the nature of duties of civilians and uniformed forces, a distinction needs be made in the level of compensation provided. Having said that, there is some similarity in the risks faced by different uniformed forces, and consequently parity amongst them may be considered as far as this leave is concerned.
The following is, therefore, recommended:
1. Hospital Leave, Special Disability Leave and Sick Leave should be subsumed in a new Leave named Work Related Illness and Injury Leave (WRIIL).
2. Full pay and allowances will be granted to all employees during the entire period of hospitalization on account of WRIIL.
3. Beyond hospitalization, WRIIL will be governed as follows:
a. For Civilian employees, RPF employees and personnel of Police Forces of Union Territories: Full pay and allowances for the 6 months immediately following hospitalization and Half Pay only for 12 months beyond that. The Half Pay period may be commuted to full pay with corresponding number of days of Half Pay Leave debited from the employee’s leave account.
b. For Officers of Defence, CAPFs, Indian Coast Guard: Full pay and allowances for the 6 months immediately following hospitalization, for the next 24 months, full pay only.
c. For PBORs of Defence, CAPFs, Indian Coast Guard: Full pay and allowances, with no limit regarding period.
4. In the case of persons to whom the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 applies, the amount of leave salary payable under WRIIL shall be reduced by the amount of compensation payable under the Act.
5. No Earned Leave or Half Pay Leave will be credited during the period that employee is on WRIIL.
Study Leave : Presently, Study Leave may be granted to all government employees with not less than five years’ service for undergoing a special course consisting of higher studies or specialized training in a professional or technical subject having a direct and close connection with the sphere of his duties as a civil servant. It is limited to 24 months, except for CHS officers who are allowed 36 months. No demands have been received regarding this leave. Accordingly, status quo may be maintained.