The Lok Sabha has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill had already been passed by the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session on 11th August, 2016. With this, the Bill stands passed in the Parliament.

The Lok Sabha has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill had already been passed by the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session on 11th August, 2016. With this, the Bill stands passed in the Parliament.

March 10, 2017 Labour 0

The Lok Sabha has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill had already been passed by the Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session on 11th August, 2016. With this, the Bill stands passed in the Parliament.

We will keep you posted on the further developments in this regard and inform you once the provisions get notified.

Background:

The Indian Labour Conference (“ILC”) in its 44th, 45th and 46th Session had recommended enhancing the maternity leave under the Act from existing 12 weeks to 24 weeks. The Ministry of Women and Child Development and other stakeholders had also insisted in enhancing the maternity benefit under the Act.

Highlights of the Amendment Bill:

  1. Increase in the duration of maternity leave to 26 weeks:

The Amendment Bill increases the maternity leave benefit to a period of 26 weeks. The maternity benefit should not be availed before eight weeks from the date of expected delivery.

Prior to this, woman were entitled to maternity leave benefit of 12 weeks only of which not more than six weeks should precede the date of her expected delivery.

  1. Maternity leave of 12 weeks for mother/s who are adopting or commissioning mothers

In terms of the Amendment Bill even a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of 3 months or a commissioning mother will be entitled to maternity benefit for a period of 12 weeks. The 12-week period of maternity benefit will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adopting or commissioning mother.

This benefit has been introduced for the first time for adopting and commissioning mother/s.

  1. Option to work from home:

After availing the maternity leave benefit, an employer may allow a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned to her is such that she may work from home. The terms, conditions and duration for the work from home arrangement would be as per the mutual agreement between the employer and the woman.

The Act does not provide for an option to work from home.

  1. Crèche facility:

Upon having 50 or more employees, every establishment is required to have the facility of crèche within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities. The employer is required to allow four visits a day to the crèche by the woman, which will also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

This is a new requirement. Under the provisions of the Act there is no requirement to provide for a crèche facility on the part of the employer.

  1. Awareness about maternity benefits:

Every establishment is required to intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment regarding every benefit available under the Act.

The Act is silent on these aspects.

  1. For the first time, the role of a “commissioning mother” has been recognized and defined. A commissioning mother means “a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman”. Prior to this, the Act did not recognize the role of a commissioning mother.
  1. For woman who have two or more surviving children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before six weeks from the date of the expected delivery.

Source: PIB

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