Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam: Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016 ::

The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 requires the employer to provide its women workers with maternity leave of upto 12 weeks, with full wages. The Bill raises this period of maternity leave to 26 weeks. Several expert bodies including the Law Commission of India and the Indian Labour Conference have highlighted the need to provide maternity leave up to a period of 24 weeks.

Salient features of the bill:

  • The Act provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
  • The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
  • This maternity leave should not be availed before eight weeks from the date of expected delivery.
  • Billl makes it mandatory to provide 12 weeks of maternity leave to: (i) a woman who legally adopts a child below three months of age; and (ii) a commissioning mother. A commissioning mother is defined as a biological mother who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.
  • The Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide for crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day.
  • An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so. This may be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the woman.
  • The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment. Such information must be given in writing and electronically.

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