Maternity Bill a blessing in disguise for creches
TheRajya Sabha recently passed the Maternity Benefit Bill making 24 weeks maternity leave mandatory in all sectors. The increase in the maternity leave duration from 12 to 24 weeks is expected to benefit about 1.8 million women in the organised sector and aims at increasing the strength of the working women force.
The bill is under perusal and yet to be passed by the Lok Sabha for final clearance. This move would bring India to No. 3 in world in terms of the highest number of weeks of maternity leave.
The bill also facilitates ‘work from home’ for nursing mothers once the leave period ends. While the women workforce have a reason to cheer, the crèches business is eyeing a boom too. This is because the bill has made crèche facility mandatory in every organisation with 50 or more female employees. Mothers can now carry their little ones to office to be taken care of by caretakers in crèches within office premises.
The entrepreneurs of day care business would now have all the more reasons to opt for franchising due to increase in demand for such facilities in offices and other residential areas. Franchising of the day care and crèche facilities would provide them several benefits. The most obvious benefit of franchising to the prospective franchisor would be the ability to expand a business by utilising the manpower and capital of others. The inherent risks usually associated with expansion are thereby reduced. Thus, with the necessary training, the day care business owner could expand his/her business by bringing in more minds.
In fact as corporates look out for tie-ups with day care centres as per the bill, spreading out will help day care centres in a way that more day care centres under a particular name will see more opportunities of tie-ups with organisations having their presence in more than one city or state.The crèches industry is celebrating the passage of the bill already. Punita, Director, Kiddie Corner, said, “We’re very happy with the announcement of the bill passed by our Government. Now there will be more mothers joining the workforce and yes we would also love to go into franchising. We’ve started discussing terms with some of the companies for our franchisees there, but the deal is yet to be finalised.”Currently the biggest reasons we do not find women at the top positions in organisations are that they drop out mostly due to family reasons. Studies show that globally, longer maternity leaves have benefitted societies and in India we are also excited and keen to see the positive change reflecting with the franchising businesses of crèche facilities doing the rounds. Creches would normally be under doubts when it came to franchising or expanding. The Maternity Bill has pretty much cleared the way for crèches to spread out.
In India, we often see crèches running in a not-so-organised manner. However, the tie-ups with corporates poses an opportunity for this sector to be an organised one, with updated facilities and well-trained staff. Franchise India has its eyes on this sector as the bill comes into existence. We’ll keep our readers updated with the growth of this sector and the new tie-ups coming in.