Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017

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Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017
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An Act to protect the employment of women during the time of her maternity n entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child.
Citation PIB[1]
Enacted by Parliament of India
Date assented to 27 March 2017
Date commenced 01 April 2017
Status: In force

The Maternity (Amendment) Bill 2017,an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, was passed in Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2016; in Lok Sabha on March 09, 2017, and received an assent from President of India on March 27, 2017.[2]

The provisions of The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 are effective from April 1, 2017. However, provision on crèche facility (Section 111 A) shall be effective from July 1, 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 Download Maternity Benefit Act 1961 persons.https://www.ikamai.in/maternity-benefits-act-information-in-hindi/

Applicability[edit]

The Act is applicable to all establishments which are factories, mines, plantations, Government establishments, shops and establishments under the relevant applicable legislations, or any other establishment as may be notified by the Central Government. Case law Lokesh vs union of India. Lokesh and Resha have got twin babies and filed a case against the union.

Eligibility[edit]

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.[3]

Key Amendments[edit]

  • 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[4]. 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:

Maternity leave of 12 weeks to be available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months from the date of adoption as well as to the “commissioning mothers”. The commissioning mother has been defined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman.

  • 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.

  • Crèche facility:

The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act makes crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees.[5] Women employees would be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the day (including rest intervals)

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.

Criticism[edit]

  • Many social scientists are of opinion that it will promote patriarchy as almost whole responsibility of child caring are on the mother's as per this amendment. Government has not announced any leave for fathers.[6]
  • Many private firms may avoid giving jobs to such women who may enter into pregnancy period as then they have to give them maternity leave up to 26 weeks.[7]
  • The law will benefit only a small percentage of women who are working in organised sector ignoring the majority who work in the unorganised sectors like farmers, contract labourers etc.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in the Parliament". pib.nic.in. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  4. ^ "All you want to know about Maternity leave in India". Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Labour Ministry to frame rules on creche soon - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.