New Delhi: The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, seeking increase in the leave for mothers-to-be from 12 weeks to 26 weeks has been passed in Lok Sabha by voice vote.
Passed on Sunday, The Bill was moved by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in Lower House and was passed after voting which took place clause by clause. Dattatreya stated, “This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day.”
Apart from increase in days of leave, the bill also aims to protect the employment of women during the time of pregnancy and entitles them to paid absence from work for taking care of their child of their child.
- The bill was passed by the Upper House in August 2016.
- It aims to benefit about 1.8 million women employed in the organised sector.
- Establishments that hire at least 10 or more people will come under the amended rule.
- The entitlement will be for only up to first two children. From third child onwards, the maternity benefit will be limited to only 12 weeks.
- India is now one of the top three countries in terms of Maternity leaves, followed by Canada and Norway where it is 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively.