On 28th March,2017 Government of India notified The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 Act . The Amendment Act received the assent of President of India on 27th March, 2017, cabinet gave its nod for 6 weeks maternity leave in 2016 and with president assent now, its a law eff April 1st, 2017.
The salient features of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016
- Increase the maximum period of maternity benefit from the existing twelve weeks to twenty-six weeks, in case of women who have less than two surviving children and in other cases, the existing period of twelve weeks maternity benefit shall continue;
- To extend the maternity benefits to a “commissioning mother” and “adopting mother” and they shall be entitled to twelve weeks maternity benefit from the date the child is handed over;
- To facilitate “work from home” to a mother by inserting an enabling provision;
- To make it mandatory in respect of establishment having fifty or more employees, to have the facility of creche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules and also to allow four visits to the creche by the woman daily, including the interval for rest allowed to her;
- Every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of initial appointment about the benefits available under the Act
Maternity Benefit Bill, 2016
In March, 2017, another amendment act came into force, called the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. This act further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01.04.2017.