The Maternity Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday by voice vote. The bill seeks to increases the maternity leaves from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. It also aims to protect the employment of women during the time of pregnancy and entitles them to full paid absence from work to take care of their child. The Bill was moved by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in Lower House.
He said, ” This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day.”
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The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Rajya Sabha in August last year. It aimed at benefiting about 1.8 million women in the organised sector. The Bill will be applicable to the establishments that hires at least 10 or more people. The entitlement will be for only up to first two children. For third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks.
India will take third place in terms of Maternity leaves after Canada and Norway where it is 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for Friday after clause by clause voting on the Bill.