After Rajya Sabha, now Lok Sabha passes Maternity Bill
The bill to amend the former Maternity Benefit Act in order to increase paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday in the parliament session.
It was moved by the Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in Lower House.
Union cabinet minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, commented on the move via Twitter.
— Maneka Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) March 9, 2017
The governement said that maternity leave for monthers after delivering the first two will continue to be 12 weeks.
The bill to amend the Maternity Benefit act of 1961 was passed by the upper house of parliament on August 11.
The amended bill will protect the employment of women during the time of pregnancy and also provides 12 weeks paid leave to ‘commissioning’ mothers as well as ‘adopting’ mothers adopting a child below the age of three months.
It will also provide for an option to work from home for new mothers who were employed by companies that employ more than 50 persons.
The government while passing the bill said that it aimed at benefiting 1.8 million women in the private and public organised sector.
A few companies like Urban Ladder, Flipkart, Accenture, Godrej and HUL along with the central government already amended their rules and have started providing paid maternity leave for six months (26 weeks).
"The amendments in the Bill were taken up following the request by the WCD Minister to the Hon’ble Labour Minister to bring about these changes so that a working woman gets time to exclusively breast-feed her child for 6 months after the birth. This period also enables the working mother to recuperate herself before she goes to back to work," the government said.