India raises maternity leave to 26 weeks

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will see working women in all establishments entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave.

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© Adam Selwood at Flickr

The Indian Parliament has passed a landmark bill, which upon receiving the President’s consent, will benefit working women from both the public and private sector as the paid maternity leave will go up fromΒ 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

The new law is applicable to any establishment which employs more than 10 people. But the entitlement only holds for the first two children, as for the third child the mother will be only entitled to 12 weeks.

The bill also requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities and the woman will be allowed four visits to the creche in a day.

In a report to NDTV,Β  Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who piloted the amendments to the old law said, “This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day.”

“It would be expected of the employer to inform women about the maternity benefits at the time of employment,” Mr Dattatreya added.

The bill will take India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave, following Canada and Norway where it is 50 and 44 weeks respectively.

The bill also provides 12-week maternity leave to a mother who adopts a child below the age of three months and a commissioning mother who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.

To read the original story, click here.

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