Important Topic: Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

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Important Topic

Every establishment will be required to make these benefits available to the women from the time of her appointment. The Lok Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in 2017. With this, the Bill stands passed in the Parliament.

The Bill seeks to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 to provide for the following:-Maternity leave available to the working women to be increased from12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children; Maternity leave for children beyond the first two will continue to be 12 weeks; Maternity leave of 12 weeks to be available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to the “commissioning mothers”.

The commissioning mother has been defined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman; Every establishment with more than 50 employees to provide for crèche facilities for working mothers and such mothers will be permitted to make four visits during working hours to look after and feed the child in the crèche; The employer may permit a woman to work from home if it is possible to do so; Every establishment will be required to make these benefits available to the women from the time of her appointment.


The salient features of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 are as follows:

(i) increase the maximum period of maternity benefit from the existing twelve weeks to twenty-six weeks, in case of women who have less than two surviving children and in other cases, the existing period of twelve weeks maternity benefit shall continue;

(ii) to extend the maternity benefits to a "commissioning mother" and "adopting mother" and they shall be entitled to twelve weeks maternity benefit from the date the child is handed over;

(iii) to facilitate "work from home" to a mother by inserting an enabling provision;

(iv) to make it mandatory in respect of establishment having fifty or more employees, to have the facility of creche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules and also to allow four visits to the creche by the woman daily, including the interval for rest allowed to her;

(v) every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment about the benefits available under the Act. Source: prsindia.org



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