Good news for expecting mothers in India! Soon you may get a hike in maternity leaves! But this is only possible if all goes the Maneka Gandhi-way. The minister of women and child development has proposed increasing maternity leave from three months to eight months, reports Times of India
The ministry has also requested the labour ministry that the maternity benefit provisions be extended to all working women both in organized and unorganised sector.
Nutan Guha Biswas, WCD additional secretary said:
“We have mooted a proposal of extending the maternity leave for working women from present three months to eight months to the Cabinet Secretariat for a discussion in the Committee of Secretaries. This matter was taken up by our minister with the Prime Minister and he is also very interested, so we are sending a copy to him.”
Under the existing Maternity Benefit Act 1961, maternity leave is granted for 12 weeks. The proposed eight-month maternity leave will include one month leave before expected delivery date and seven months after delivery.
Recently, Flipkart rolled out an extended maternity leave of 24 weeks plus four months of flexi-working hours with full pay, and, if needed, one-year career break without pay.
If Maneka Gandhi manages to get this implemented, she will end up as the biggest idol for women in India.