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Lok Sabha Passes Historic Maternity Bill Which Will Benefit Around 1.8 Million Working Women

Updated on 23 March, 2017 at 12:32 pm By

In a landmark move on Thursday the Lok Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill aims to increase the maternity leave of women from the present 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

 

Reuters

The increased period will be for the first two children. For children born after the first two, the leave shall be 12 weeks.


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Twelve weeks leave will also be given to women who adopt a child below the age of three months. The same benefit will be extended to “commissioning mothers” – a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman.

 


Further, the Bill directs all establishments having 50 or more employees to provide crèche facility to which women will be allowed four visits daily.



 


Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said, “I am very, very happy that we have made history today. This will help thousands of women and produce much healthier children. We have been working on it for a long time.”

“This is a historic decision taken by our government. I had requested Honourable Minister for Labour to make these changes in relevant laws and I am grateful to him for taking up my request,” she said.

 

BCCL

The Rajya Sabha had passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in August last year. At least 1.8 million women working in the organized sector are expected to benefit from the Bill.


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With the passing of the Bill, India has now jumped to the third place in terms of maternity leaves granted to employed women. Canada leads the chart with 50 weeks and Norway with 44 weeks.

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