Maternity leave for 26 weeks: Bill to be tabled today
The much-awaited amendment on the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 will be tabled today in Rajya Sabha. The bill proposes to increase the time frame of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for all organizations, public and private.
As per Labour Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya, the government will accelerate the process in the monsoon session of parliament to pass the bill. He also added that only certain establishments allow pregnant women to work from home. But majority of others don’t provide this facility. The extension of maternity leave period will be provided to women working in both private and public sector. However, it will not be available to women employees who have two or more children.
Also, the new amendments will provide ease to those commissioning mothers who use surrogates to bear their child. They are entitled to 12-weeks of maternity leave.
Another significant women-friendly step proposed is to open crèches individually or by few firms together at a common facility in neighbouring vicinity. This is mandatory for firms with 50 employees. This initiative taken by the government will definitely promote the concept of work from home and will upsurge women participation in the workforce.
This pro-women legal proposition has brought smiles on faces of many women employees and this move will further help in employment generation .