13 July 2020


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Labour and Industrial

Parliament passes Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

09.03.2017

A landmark bill called Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 benefiting women passed by Parliament. The Bill extends paid maternity leave for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for first two children. During winter session, Bill was already passed by Rajya Sabha. However, Maternity leave for children beyond the first two will remain unchanged that is 12 weeks.  Further, Maternity leave of 12 weeks is also available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to the “commissioning mothers” which has been defined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman. 

Crèche facilities is to be provided by every establishment with more than 50 employees for working mothers and such mothers will be permitted to make four visits during working hours to look after and feed the child in the crèche.  The employer may allow a woman to work from home if it is possible to do so. It is mandatory for every establishment to make women employee aware of benefits available from the time of her appointment. 

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care for her child. A working woman must be informed of all benefits available under this law at the time of her appointment by the concerned organisation and the said information must be given in electronically or writing. The Provisions of this law applies to every establishment employing ten or more persons and include mines and factories. No employer can remove any woman employee on ground of pregnancy. With this amendment, India will be in third position in terms of the number of weeks allowed for maternity leave across the world after Norway (44 weeks) and Canada (50). It’s a positive step towards empowerment of women.

Tags : Maternity leave Extension Bill

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