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Six-month maternity leave for female employees of all DHI companies

Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) revised parental leave for employees working with DHI and companies associated with DHI beginning from this month.

The move is expected to benefit more than 2,000 female employees working under DHI and DHI-Owned Companies, DHI-Controlled Companies, and DHI-Linked Companies. As of December 31, 2017, there were a total of 1,861female employees in DHI and DHI-Owned Companies, and 617 female employees in DHI-Controlled and DHI-Linked Companies.

DHI’s Senior Manager Karpo Tshering said the decision was arrived after DHI and its companies had several rounds of discussion, including DHI board meetings and CEO round table meetings.

In addition, DHI and DHI-Owned Companies also did a study in 2016 to look at the feasibility of revising the parental leave. The study recommended the enhancement of maternity leave.

According to the Senior Manager, the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources had also formed a task force consisting of members from DHI, Ministry of Finance, State-Owned Enterprises, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Civil Society Organization Authority to study the enhancement of parental leave in these organizations. This task force also came up with a report – recommending enhancement of maternity leave.

“In keeping with these recommendations and after detailed discussions among DHI and DHI-Owned companies, it was decided to revise the rules with effect from July 1, 2018 and enhance the maternity leave at par with the civil service employees,” Karpo Tshering said.

“In doing so, we also kept in mind that the initiative is in the larger interest of our society, nation and our female employees in particular. For us, it also did not go un-noticed that the National Population and Housing Census 2017 revealed a drop in the birth rate,” he added.

Acknowledging that there could be some small financial implications because of the enhanced maternity leave of DHI and DHI companies, Karpo Tshering added, “We implemented the same with the hope that our small initiative would contribute towards the larger interest of the nation especially our working mothers and their babies. Due deference was also given to letters received from the NCWC and MoLHR suggesting us to initiate revision of parental leave benefits as given in the Civil Service.”

The Senior Manager said there is not much issue with DHI controlled and linked companies as a few had already revised their parental leave (Eg. STCBL revised their leave to four months last year).

“In keeping with the corporate government rules, for the controlled and linked companies, DHI would encourage and support these companies to revise their parental leave provisions with the support of other shareholders,” he urged.

Meanwhile, the nine DHI-Owned Companies include Bhutan Power Corporation Ltd, Bhutan Telecom Ltd, Drukair Corporation Ltd, Druk Green Power Corporation Ltd, Natural Resource Development Corporation Ltd, Thimphu TechPark Ltd, Construction Development Corporation Ltd, Wood Craft Center Ltd, and State Mining Corporation Ltd.

The five DHI-Controlled Companies are Bank of Bhutan Ltd, Dungsam Cement Corporation Ltd, Dungsam Polymers Ltd, State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Ltd, and Koufuku International Ltd.

And the five DHI-Linked Companies are Bhutan Board Product Ltd, Bhutan Ferro Alloys Ltd, Bhutan National Bank Ltd, Penden Cement Authority Ltd, and Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu

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