On 11th of August 2016, Thursday, Rajya sabha has given a gift to working pregnant women. According to the bill, employer provides six month paid leave to working women. The cabinet increased the maternity leave period from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

What is Maternity Benefit Act?

According to the maternity benefit act, 1961, pregnant woman can take advantage of paid leave during the period of her pregnancy to delivery.

Benefits of Amended Maternity Act, 1961

  • The amended bill has proposed benefits for surrogate mothers.
  • The firm is allowed to provide creches and mothers are allowed four visits to the creche.
  • Work from home option is also available for nursing mothers after 26 weeks, it depends on the mutual agreement between the employer and the employee.
  • India is all set to join 42 countries in the world that have paid leave of more than 18 weeks.

Eligibility:

  • Must have worked in the establishment for 80 days in 12 months before her delivery date.
  • Employer may offer ESI scheme to women who are earning 15,000 per month.
  • Every factory, mine or plantation and every shop wherein 10 or more persons are employed on any day preceding 12 months.  

What other companies and organizations are giving benefits?

  • Leave: Companies like Pepsico, Godrej, GSK, Flipkart and KPMG allow leave for six months or more and Tata Sons provides seven months leave. Sony Pictures Networking India, SAP Labs, Ericsson, Tata Sons, KPMG, EY and Accenture are providing adoption and surrogacy leave.
  • Returning programme: Companies like Ericsson, Tata Sons, PwC, Godrej, Citi,   EY and Genpact have career programmes that help to retain skill in the workforce.
  • Day-care facility: Companies like Ericsson, Mondelez, Genpact, EY and SAP are providing day-care and creche facility.
  • Transport service:  Sony Pictures Networking India, PWC and Genpact have the facility to pick-&-drop for the mothers.
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