Women employees of the Haryana government who have a child through surrogacy will be entitled to maternity leave, according to an official order of the personnel ministry. The maternity leave will be given to the surrogate mother if she is a government employee.

A written communication has been sent in this regard by the Finance Department to all the administrative secretaries, heads of departments, heads of board, corporations and universities under the state government, divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and sub-divisional officers (civil) and the registrar, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.

The decision has been taken according to the policy decision of Union government in this regard taken in view of a decision of the Delhi High Court that a female employee who is the commissioning mother would also be entitled to maternity leave.

As per the written communication, it has been decided that the maternity leave benefit will now be admissible to commissioning mother, that is, the female employee who engages the services of another female to conceive a child and also to the surrogate mother, that is, the female employee who bears a child on behalf of another woman on the same terms and conditions as prescribed for maternity leave admissible to a female employee who conceives and carries the child.

In a situation where both the commissioning mother and the surrogate mother are employees, who are otherwise eligible for maternity leave (one on the ground that she is a commissioning mother and the another on the ground that she is the pregnant woman), a suitable adjustment regarding grant of maternity leave at the same time or otherwise would be made by the competent authority. The competent authority for this purpose of grant of maternity leave would be the head of the department, he added.