NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016, paving the way for more than doubling maternity leave for working women to 26 weeks. The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill in August last year during the monsoon session.
The bill, which was strongly pushed by the women and child development ministry, provides for increasing maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and is aimed at benefiting about 1.8 million women in the organised sector.
The amended law will be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more people. Once the amendments to the Act are passed and notified, India will jump to the third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave, after Canada (50) and Norway (44).
The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 protects the …