Govt plans maternity benefit for women in informal sector
According to rough estimates, this could benefit around 4 crore working women like household maids, construction workers and others working in unorganised sector
New Delhi, Aug 12: A day after securing Rajya Sabha nod to amend Maternity Benefit Act, 1962 to enhance paid maternity leave for women working in an organised sector establishment to 26 weeks from the present 12 weeks, labour ministry on Friday said it is considering extending the facility to women working with unorganised sector as well.
According to rough estimates,this could benefit around 4 crore working women like household maids, construction workers and others working in the unorganised sector.
“We are planning to bring women working in th eu nor gan is ed sector under the purview of the maternity benefit act. However, it requires a lot of discussionwith the states. This can not be done in a hurry,” labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya told reporters here. There had been demand from certain section of the members of the Upper House to bring those working in the unorganised sector under the purview of the Bill.
The extension of the leave to the women in organsied sector having 10 or more employees is required to allow the mother to take care of the child during the formative days. It is also intended at improving the women participation in the labour force, which has been on the wane, the minister said.
The Bill seeks to provide the extended benefit to the mother who has less than two surviving children. In others cases, the existing benefit will continue. Those working on contracts could also avail the benefit, the minister said.
India has 2.8 crore workforce in the organised sector of which 18 lakh are women.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, passed in the Raj ya S ab ha on August 11, could not be passed on the final day of the current monsoon session in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The labour ministry is expecting it to get passed in the winter session of Parliament.
The Bill also proposes to provide 12 weeks benefit to commissioning mother (in case of surrogate child) and adopting mother (in case of adoption) from the date the child is handed over.
It also makes it mandatory for any establishment having 50 or more workers to have the facility of crèche either individually or as a shared basis. Those will violate the rules will be entitled with upto one year imprisonment and a penalty of up to R 5,000.