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Maternity Benefit Bill 2016 passed in Rajya Sabha, here’s how Twitterati reacted

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said her ministry had recommended raising maternity leave from 12 weeks to 8 months but it was considered too long for the employer.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
August 11, 2016 10:34:41 pm
maternity bill, maternity leave, rajya sabha, rajya sabha maternity bill, maternity benefit bill, maternity leave extension, private sector maternity leave, 6 months maternity leave, 26 weeks maternity bill, maneka gandhi, india news, latest news The new law will be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more people. (Representational photo)

Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed a Bill that provides for 26 weeks maternity leave, even as some members sought norms for paternity leave so that parents can share the responsibility of raising children. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was moved for consideration and passage by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, was passed by a voice vote.

The measure also seeks to increase maternity benefit from 12 to 26 weeks for two surviving children that would benefit about 1.8 million women in the organised sector.  The new law will be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more people.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care for her child.

Once the new law is enacted, India will jump to third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave after Norway (44) and Canada (50), said Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya while replying to a debate on the legislation.

Cabinet on Wednesday had given ex-post facto approval to the amendments made to the Maternity Benefits Act, that aims to raise maternity leave to 26 weeks. “The very purpose of this Bill is to increase the working women force because in the work force, participation of women is decreasing day by day,” Dattatreya said.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said her ministry had recommended raising maternity leave from 12 weeks to 8 months but it was considered too long for the employer.  The legislation will go a long way in ensuring that the future generations are healthier, she said as she noted that after giving birth, a woman’s body needs to heal over a period of time. “It is a very stressful time for the mother, who should be with the child”.

Highlighting that there are more nuclear families now, Gandhi said the bill has its roots in malnutrition, as breastfeeding the child is recommended which is not possible unless the mother is in physical proximity of the child.

Here is how everyone congratulated Maneka Gandhi and applauded the amendment:

Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma took to Twitter to congratulated after the bill was passed in Upper House.

Journalist Barkha Dutt reacted on the Bill being passed and wished that there would be equal considerations on paternity leaves too.

Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde congratulated Maneka Gandhi on the bill too.

Journalist Rohit Gandhi called the Bill an important first step

Journalist Pallavi Ghosh said the maternity leave is not a holiday

BJP Mumbai President, MLA from Bandra (west) assembly, Ashish Shelar praised the move and hoped for women would be away from work.

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