Down to Earth

Lok Sabha passes Maternity Benefit Bill

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Sabha has approved the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, nearly six months after the Rajya Sabha passed it. The Bill extends the period of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. Women who have acquired babies through surrogacy or have adopted children under three months will also be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. Employers are liable to pay full wages for the period of leave. The Bill requires offices with 50 or more employees to provide for creche facilities within a prescribed distance and recommends employers to provide work from home facility to new mothers. The amendment will help 1.8 million women working in the organised sector.

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