In a first in the country, Kerala is all set to bring thousands of employees in the private education sector, including teachers, under the ambit of the Maternity Benefit Act.
The Centre has given nod to the state's request to issue the notification to extend the benefits of the Act to the employees of the private education institutions including in the unaided sector.
The state cabinet, on August 29, had decided to seek the permission of the Central government to issue the notification considering the plight of the private sector employees, an official release said here.
With the framing of the legislation in this regard, thousands of employees in the private education sector in the state can also avail the 26 weeks maternity leave with salary as guaranteed in the Act like government employees.
The employer also has to provide Rs 1,000 to meet their medical expenses, it said.
"It is for the first time that a state government in the country is bringing the private education sector under the ambit of the Maternity Benefit Act," the release said adding the state government has already been going ahead with steps to ensure minimum wages to teachers in the unaided sector.
Getting maternity benefits has been a long pending demand of private-sector employees in the state.