The Prime Minister “Narendra Modi” on 10th, August, 2016 gave its ex-post facto approval (a subsequent action) for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament.
The very purpose of this Bill is to increase the working women force because in the work force, participation of women is decreasing day by day, said by the labour Minister “Dattatreya”.
According to Women and Child Development Minister “Menaka Gandhi” as there are more Nuclear Families, a Mother needs to be present physically with the child for the better nutrition of the child. So, this passed amendment bill will help the Mother to take proper care of the child.
The above named Bill seeks to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The law protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’.
The ‘maternity benefit’ includes:
– Full paid leave from work to take care for her child.
The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.
Following are the Amendments made to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961:
1. Increase Maternity Benefit to 26 weeks including Private Sectors from 12 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
2. Mandatory 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to ‘Adopting mother’ and ‘commissioning mother’.
Commissioning Mother Means:
One woman (host mother or surrogate mother) carries a child for another as the result of an agreement which is made before conception that the child should be handed over after birth. The couple wishing to have the child is called the commissioning couple.”
Adopting mother means:
A person who adopts a child of other parents as his or her own child.
1. Facilitate Work from home for women during the time of her maternity.
2. It is Mandatory to have Crèche facility for establishment having 50 or more employees.
These amendments will help approximately 1.8 million women workforce in organised sector. Maternal care to the child during early childhood is crucial for growth and development of the child. This is a very progressive and enabling step.
Moreover, India will jump to the third position in terms of the number of weeks (26) for maternity leave, behind Norway (44) and Canada (50).
Finally, all stakeholders supported the amendment proposal