For the benefit of the Indian moms the Narendra Modi government is set to bring some reforms that would make their lives easier.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.
This maternity benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her to a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care of her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. The amendments will help 1.8 million (approx.) women workforce in organised sector.
Here below are the amendments to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 which the Narendra Modi government is set to address:
- Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
- 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.
- Facilitate ‘Work from home’.
- Mandatory provision of Crèche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
The reasons that led the Narendra Modi government to make amends are:
- Maternal care to the Child during early childhood – crucial for growth and development of the child.
- The 44th, 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conference recommended enhancement of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks.
- Ministry of Women & Child Development proposed to enhance Maternity Benefit to 8 months.
- In Tripartite consultations, all stake holders, in general supported the amendment proposal.
Indian mothers have often complained that it gets difficult for them to continue with their jobs after they have children. With this move, the Narendra Modi government has tried to address the issue. Also, the maternity leave for the adopting mother is a welcome move as it acknowledges the hard work that a mother will have to do even if the child is not biological offspring and will help single mothers who are eager on adoptions.
Also, the maternity leave for the adopting mother is a welcome move as it acknowledges the hard work that a mother will have to do even if the child is not biological offspring and will help single mothers who are eager on adoptions.