New Delhi: Following the Cabinet approving the amendment made to the Maternity Benefit Act, which aims to raise maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks, the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha today, 11 Aug.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yesterday gave its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016.
The following are some of the benefits of the revised Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill:
• 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.
• The Bill tries to ensure that Indian women do not give up their careers after having a baby as they have to juggle between their personal and professional lives.
• It is not just an economic investment but also a measure to ensure social justice.
If the proposed Maternity Bill is passed, India will join the league of 42 countries where maternity leave exceeds 18 weeks.