Indian Maternity benefit act amendment

August 26, 2016
maternity benefit

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Do you have 2 children and expecting third?
If yes, then nothing much has changed for you.

New Maternity benefit act extends the leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks but only for the first and second time Mothers.

Sadly, Who has been left behind is more than 90% of women who works in Unorganized sector:

  • Women who are free-lancers
  • Women who does home-based work like Papad making or Embroidery making.
  • Women who work from home for different employers at a time.

For the benefit to ones who have been advised bed-rest or facing any complications during pregnancy, leave has been extended from 6 to 8 weeks before the baby is born.

What made me happy is the benefit for the Mothers who are adopting the babies. I really feel they should be treated the same way as Biological Mothers.

Babies need attention and care, adopted or not. Even if the adopted one is a Kid rather than infant, he or she needs time to gel up with their new family. They need to spend some quality time together to create and strengthen the bond which naturally comes with non-adopted off-springs.

Another good news to the ones whose nature of work allows them to work from home. Post the 26-week maternity leave,the employer may permit “Work from Home” for the new mother, if required.

Creche facility is like a cherry on top- Organizations with more than 50 women employee will have to provide crèche facilities within a prescribed distance according to the amended Maternity Benefit Act. Mothers will be allowed 4 visits in a day to the crèche including her break time.

But What People including me are fearing is – Companies can be reluctant to hire young, recently married women in permanent positions.

I hope it would not throw a setback to equality in the work place. It can hit adversely small and medium size companies.

To counteract this, Companies should come out with a rule which can restrict resignation for some time after enjoying leave benefit or government should partly share the costs of maternity benefits.

But we need to wait till next year i.e. 2017 to see how it rolls out.


Share your views on this.Do you think its justified or need some improvement?



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Also read: Life after Kids


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  • Reply Bun Karyudo August 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    It sounds like the changes are better than nothing, but fall well short of what they could be.

    • Reply upasna August 31, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Ya Bun, I am suspicious too.

  • Reply Suchitra August 28, 2016 at 10:15 am

    This is of a lot of interest to me given my research areas and I would be really interested in knowing how the Indian Government and especially the private sector proceeds with implementing these policies. I wasn’t aware of these changes.

    Thanks for this post. I’ll be on the look out for more in the media to keep me updated.

    • Reply upasna August 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

      It feels good when you bring the correct info to people. Thanks for taking time to read Suchitra- I was checking out your Huff post. Its great.

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