Source: Agencies11 Aug 2016 17:16:50

New Delhi, August 11: The Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 on Thursday by amending the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The new bill will increase the maternity leave for working women across the country.

The amendments include increasing maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children. There is also a provision in the bill to provide 12 weeks maternity benefit to a commissioning mother and adopting mother. The bill makes a mandatory provision of crèche in every establishment having 50 or more employees.

Embeded Object

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them of a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. The amendments will help 18 lakh women workforce in organised sector. After the passing of the Bill, India has joined the league of 42 countries where maternity leave exceeds 18 weeks.

The bill was passed following the 44th, 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conference recommended enhancement of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks. Ministry of Women & Child Development proposed to enhance Maternity benefit to 8 months.

Embeded Object

Some of the benefits of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 are as follows:
 

  • The Bill raises the length of the leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

 

  • The leaves will be fully paid so that the mothers can take care of their children.
     
  • It will also provide 12 weeks of maternity leave to ‘commissioning and adopting’ mothers.
     
  • The Bill will introduce an option of work-from-home for nursing mothers.
     
  • The Maternity Bill also makes it mandatory to provide crèche facility for establishments where the number of workers is 50 and above.