INTRODUCTION:The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill-2016 was passed by Lok Sabha on 9-Feb-2017, months after the Rajya Sabha approved the same that makes India 3rd on the list of nations with most maternity leave, after Canada & Norway where it is 50 weeks & 44 weeks respectively. The Bill is a modification to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which safeguards the employment of Women & enables her to get full paid leave from work to take care of her child.
- The working women will now be eligible to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, instead of 12 weeks. It will benefit around 1.8 million women.
- The Bill also provides maternity leave of 12 weeks to mothers, who are adopting a child below three months.
- It is mandatory for every organisation having more than 50 employees to provide crèche facilities within a recommended distance.
- The women will be permitted 4 visits to the crèche in a day. This includes her interval for rest.
- This new law will be applicable to all organisations employing ten or more people & the privilege will be for only up to first two children. For the third child, the claim will be for only 12 weeks.
- The Bill is having a provision under which an employer can permit a woman to work from home if the nature of work allotted permits her to do so.
- This choice can be availed of, after the maternity leave, for a period that is commonly decided by both employer & the woman.
- The modifications in the bill would ensure full motherly care is provided during full bloom period & will encourage more women to work in an organised sector.
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