Paying a way for the women employees to avail six months of paid maternity leave, Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The bill seeking to increase the present paid leaves of 12 weeks to 26 weeks was unanimously passed in Lok Sabha through a process voice voting.

The Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill has already been cleared in Rajya Sabha, in August last year after sitting on the agenda table for long nine months.

Noteworthy that the 26 weeks of paid leave will only be availed to the working mother for the first two children, thereafter they will get 12 weeks of paid leave as a current norm.

As per the amended Maternity Benefit Bill, it also covers the surrogate mothers, who will also be getting a three month of paid maternity leave.

The government will now wait for the signature of the President of India Pranab Mukherjee as a final note of approval before the law is officially implemented across the nation.

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