Male employees of the State government are now entitled to childcare leave in case their spouses are bedridden or incapacitated due to mental health problems and are unable to take care of the children. The State government on July 23 issued directions on sanctioning childcare leave to male employees. As per the government resolution issued on December 15, a male employee is eligible for leave for the exact period his wife is bedridden or is unable to take care of the children due to mental health problems. Teaching and non-teaching staff of zilla parishads, government-approved and aided primary, secondary and higher secondary schools, agriculture and non-agriculture universities and full-time teaching and non-teaching staff from the colleges affiliated to those universities also come within its purview. As per the original directions issued in July, the leave will be applicable to only the first two children of the employee who are below 18 years of age. The maximum limit of this leave would be 180 days and can be availed in three spells in a calendar year. The childcare leave can be linked to paternity leave as well. The leave cannot be taken as the right of the employee, but will be given only after due sanction from the authority. While officers on probation are not eligible for this leave, the rules said that in case of emergencies and serious condition of the child, a special childcare leave for the minimum period can be sanctioned and the probation period increased accordingly.