A legal notice was served on the government asking for necessary steps to ensure period of maternity leave enjoyed by female staffs of private offices in line with public offices.
Supreme Court lawyer Md JR Khan Robin sent the legal notice on behalf of Advocate Shammi Akhter on Monday.The notice also made a demand for hiking the leave from six months to one year.
Failing to act on the notice within in 15 days will result in appropriate legal action, the legal notice cautioned.
Secretaries to the cabinet division, ministries of public administration, legislative and parliamentary affairs division under law ministry, health ministry, and women and children affairs ministry have been made respondents to the notice.
Unlike public offices, many private organisations do not grant maternity leave for six months to females staffs, the notice contended.
It said the government enhanced the maternity leave from four months to six months through amending the rule 197(1) of the Bangladesh Service Rules, but such period is not enough during Covid-19 pandemic.
If a pregnant staff joins office, she along with fetus and other family members will be exposed to coronavirus, it opined.Lawyer JR Khan Robin also said that the respondents have not yet taken any steps to remove the discrimination over the maternity leave.