The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 was amended by Rajya Sabha after the house passed it on Thursday. This long-awaited amendment will give rise to an impressive package for working mothers in the country. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to the bill on Wednesday. The government is of the view that the maternal care to the child during early childhood is crucial for growth and development of the child and here are some important things to know about the Maternity Bill 2016.
MATERNITY BILL 2016:
1. THE ACT IS APPLICABLE TO ALL ESTABLISHMENTS EMPLOYING 10 OR MORE PERSONS.
2. THE AMENDMENTS WILL HELP APPROXIMATELY 1.8 MILLION WOMEN WORKFORCE IN ORGANISED SECTOR.
3. THE BILL WILL BE CONSIDERED IN LOK SABHA, WHERE THE GOVERNMENT GATHERS MAJORITY. AFTER IT IS PASSED IN THE LOWER HOUSE, THE CHANGES WILL BE RELEASED BY THE LABOR MINISTRY.
4. THE MATERNITY LEAVE FOR BOTH PUBLIC SECTOR AND PRIVATE SECTOR IS NOW 12 WEEKS AND IT IS EXTENDED TO 26 WEEKS.
5. IF THE MOTHERS HAVE TWO OR MORE CHILDREN, THE NUMBER OF LEAVES IS CONFINED TO 12 WEEKS ONLY.
6. FOR COMMISSIONED MOTHERS, THE BILL PROPOSED 12 WEEKS OF MATERNITY LEAVE.
7. NURSING MOMS GET TO WORK FROM HOME EVEN AFTER 26 WEEKS OF MATERNITY LEAVE, ACCORDING TO THEIR RESPECTIVE JOB PROFILES.
8. THE WOMEN-FRIENDLY MEASURES ALSO MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR COMPANIES WITH 50 EMPLOYEES TO HAVE BABY-CARE CENTERS INDIVIDUALLY OR A FEW COMPANIES CAN SET UP A COMMON FACILITY WITHIN A PRESCRIBED DISTANCE.
9. AN ALLOWANCE OF FOUR VISITS TO THE BABY-CARE CENTER WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE INTERVAL OF REST ALLOWED TO WOMEN EMPLOYEES, IS NOW MANDATORY.
10. THE 44TH, 45TH AND 46TH INDIAN LABOR CONFERENCE HAD RECOMMENDED ENHANCEMENT OF MATERNITY BENEFITS TO 24 WEEKS WHILE THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN & CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED TO ENHANCE MATERNITY BENEFIT TO 8 MONTHS.