New Delhi: Lok Sabha passed today on 9th March, 2017 the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which inter-alia includes increasing maternity benefit to woman covered under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 from 12 weeks to 26 weeks up to two surviving children in order to allow the mother to take care of the child during his/her most formative stage, providing maternity benefit of 12 weeks to Commissioning mother and Adopting mother.
This bill also facilitates “work from home” to a mother with mutual consent of the employee and the employer, making mandatory in respect of establishment having fifty or more employees , to have the facility of crèche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules & also to allow four visits to the crèche by the woman daily, including the interval for rest allowed to her and every establishment to intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment about the benefits available under the Act.
The bill was presented in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment, Mr Bandaru Dattatreya.
The Maternity Benefit(Amendment) Bill, 2016 has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11th August,2016. These changes will have major impact on the health, well-being and growth of the future generation in the country. It will have positive impact on women’s participation in labour force and will improve the work- life balance of the women workers. The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2016 will come into the force only after the President’s assent.