New bill guarantees Indian mothers 26 weeks of maternity leave Advertisement

New bill guarantees Indian mothers 26 weeks of maternity leave

Praise be!

By Hasina Khatib  March 10th, 2017

2017 may seem like a bad hangover from 2016, but it does have its moments. The Indian Parliament finally had some good news to deliver: The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill just received a nod from the President and has substantially increased the maternity leave provided to new mothers.

So how does the new maternity bill help?

The bill provides up to 26 weeks’ worth of maternity leave, as opposed to the earlier 12. And yes, it applies to working women in all establishments—public and private.The good news doesn’t end there though. Establishments with 50 or more employees will also be mandated to provide crèches for mothers to look after young babies at work, as well as allot special time for breast feeding.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been spearheading the amendments, promised to ensure that the benefits reached maximum women. “This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day,” he concluded after the 4-hour debate.

What’s the catch?

The bill will be applicable for the first two children, post which the maternity leave will again be truncated to 12 weeks. Women who’ve adopted children below three months of age can only claim a 12 week leave too.