News: Women already on Maternity leave eligible for extended benefits

Employee Engagement

Women already on Maternity leave eligible for extended benefits

The Labour Ministry clarified that women who were already on their maternity leaves when the amended Act came into force, will be eligible for benefits, according to the new provisions
Women already on Maternity leave eligible for extended benefits

A clarification issued by the Labour Ministry says that women who were already on their maternity leave as on 1st April 2017 (the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017) are eligible for all the benefits, and extended paid leave, according to the new provisions, says a news report.

The Ministry had to step in to waive off doubts regarding who is eligible for the benefits. "Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 i.e. as on April 1, 2017," Labour Ministry said in a statement.

With the provisions of the Act coming into force from April 1 2017, there was widespread confusion regarding who is entitled to enjoy the benefits of the same. This lead to several important clarifications in April, but the confusion persisted. Explaining further, the ministry said, "Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the ministry on April 12, 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017.” With this clarification however, is it now ‘mandatory’ for employers to extend benefits according to the new provisions, to women already on maternity leave. 

Furthermore, the amendment also requires employers, who have 50 or more employees on their rolls, to provide crèche facility. The provisions related to crèche facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from July 1, 2017.

India was lauded internationally when it recently amended the Maternity Benefits Act to increase the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks. Since the development also raised queries and confusion regarding the implementation of the same, this is the second instance of the Labour Ministry issuing clarifications to remove any doubt and confusion. 

Read full story

Topics: Employee Engagement, Diversity

Did you find this story helpful?

Author

QUICK POLL

What are the top work tech investment focus areas for your company currently?

How are you helping to build the future of work?

READ our latest issue for perspectives on the many facets that form tomorrow's workplace.