Maternity Benefit Bill to provide 26-weeks paid leave, crèche in
March 10, 2017
Eloquent speeches on
the rights of women notwithstanding, the Lok Sabha had just 53
MPs, including 11 women members, when the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Bill, 2016, came up for discussion in the House on
Once the President gives his assent to the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Bill, 2016, working women in all establishments-
public and private will be entitled to 26 weeks of maternity
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016, will pave way for a
healthy & secure mother and a well-nourished child.... https://t.co/NRbqHWUvkZ
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) 1489064488000
However, a woman with two or more children will get only 12
weeks of leave. In case a woman adopts a child below three
months, she will be given 12 weeks leave from the date the child
is handed over to her.
All establishments with 50 or more employees will also have to
provide creches once the bill becomes law. NGOs and women's
rights organisations have been pressing for passage of this
amendment bill for a long time.
Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya moved the bill
for consideration and passage in the Lower House in the
post-lunch session when only 53 members were present in the
House. They included 8 women MPs from the Opposition and 3 from
the treasury benches.
Sushmita Dev (Congress) and Thagata Sathpathy (BJD) were among
the members who participated in the debate that took place
before the bill was passed. The bill has already been passed by
the Rajya Sabha. It seeks to amend the Maternity Benefits Act
that provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave.
Passage of the Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha
is a landmark moment in our efforts towards women-led
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1489127915000
The bill has been pending in Parliament for long. The Rajya
Sabha passed the Bill last August. Union ministers like Maneka
Gandhi had fielded queries on social media from women waiting
patiently for passage of this bill.
On Thursday, Maneka hailed the passage of the bill, saying: "I
am very, very happy that we have made history today. This will
help thousands of women and produce much healthier children. We
have been working on it for a long time."
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