The Maternity (Amendment) Bill 2017,an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, was passed in Lok Sabha on March 09, 2017 , in Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2016 and received an assent from President of India on March 27,2017. The provisions of The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 is effective from April 01, 2017. However, provision on crèche facility (Section 11 A) shall be effective from July 01, 2017.
The Maternity Benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.The Act is applicable to all establishments which are factories, mines, plantations, Government establishments, private undertakings, shops and establishments under the relevant applicable legislations, or any other establishment as may be notified by the Central Government.
As per the Act, to be eligible for maternity benefit, a woman must have been working as an employee in an establishment for a period of at least 80 days in the past 12 months Payment during the leave period is based on the average daily wage for the period of actual absence.
Increased Paid Maternity Leave:
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act has increased the duration of paid maternity leave available for women employees from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Under the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, this benefit could be availed by women for a period extending up to a maximum of 8 weeks before the expected delivery date and the remaining time can be availed post childbirth. For women who are expecting after having 2 children, the duration of paid maternity leave shall be 12 weeks (i.e., 6 weeks pre and 6 weeks post expected date of delivery).
Maternity leave for adoptive and commissioning mothers:
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act extends certain benefits to adoptive mothers as well and provides that every woman who adopts a child shall be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, from the date of adoption.
Work from Home option:
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act has also introduced an enabling provision relating to "work from home" for women, which may be exercised after the expiry of the 26 weeks' leave period. Depending upon the nature of work, women employees may be able to avail this benefit on terms that are mutually agreed with the employer.
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act makes crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees.Women employees would be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the day.
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act makes it mandatory for employers to educate women about the maternity benefits available to them at the time of their appointment.
7th April 2018 From India, Mumbai