maternity leave extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks

New mothers to cheer:

In a heart winning move, NDA government has introduced Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha which will increase the leave period for new mothers.

According to reformed Maternity Benefit Act, the government will provide 26 weeks of paid maternity leave which was 12 weeks earlier. This amendment will be applicable to working mothers in the formal sector (organised sector) up to two births. For following child births, the women can avail 12 weeks of maternity leave.

Through this step, 1.8 million women workers will be receiving this benefit. The amendment also ensures that in case the establishment has 50 or more employees the employer must provide mandatory crèche facilities.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said “We are thinking as to how we can extend this benefit to mothers in the unorganised sector,”

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After the new bill was passed some women, MP’s from Rajya Sabha demanded paternity leaves for fathers who are not present in India. However, 15 Days of paternity leave is allowed for male employees, which is not in the form of law.

Rajya Sabha Member Anu Aga said, “Men leave the burden of bringing up kids to women. By bringing in paternity leave, we can sensitise them on bringing up children,”

Apart from the above resolution government has also approved Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Lok Sabha.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya introduced the bill which is aimed to change the Section 64 and Section 65 of the Factories Act, 1948 which deals with overtime hours.

The over time hours are increased from 50 hours per week to 100 hours per week. The government wanted to increase it to 125 hours, but these changes may be inappropriate once entire Factories Act, 1948 will be made into effect.

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This move will ensure more productivity and increased employment opportunity for all. However, as per the regulations of International Labour Organization, no employee can be asked for work for more than 12 hours in a single shift. This was mentioned by the Labour Minister for ensuring employee’s welfare.