New Delhi: The crucial maternity bill amendments that promised to make more benefits available to new mothers, has been given an ex-post facto nod by a Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Rajya Sabha on Thursday approved the amendments.
The amended bill doubles the maternity leave to 26 weeks, adds maternity benefits for a commissioning mother and an adopting mother, and will also make creche facilities mandatory at a big company.
Here are the amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that were approved.
• Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two childern.
• 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a 'Commissioning mother' and 'Adopting mother'.
• Facilitate 'Work from home'.
• Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
According to these amendments, once approved new mothers working in the private sector will get paid maternity leave of up to 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks currently. Benefits will also be extended to commissioning and adopting mothers, however, the maternity leave here will be 12 weeks.
Apart from this, new mothers will also get the provision of working from home, while they nurse the new baby. Every company employing more than 50 employees will have to make provisions for creche facilities.
"There are certain establishments where they can get (the permission to work from home). But in other establishments they will get the facility of (26 weeks maternity leave) after amendment in the Act," Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said earlier this year while talking about the bill.
The Bill will be taken up in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Once and if approved, at 26 weeks, India will be one of the countries to give the longest maternity leave. The government already has a provision of 26 weeks paid maternity leave for new moms.