Women all over India rejoice!
On 9th March 2017, parliament passed and approved a new bill that will significantly increase the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. This is a major fillip to women employed in the organised sector and is set to benefit nearly 2 million women.
India now ranks third on the list of countries with the highest paid maternity leave behind Norway and Canada, which grant women maternity leave of 44 weeks and 50 weeks respectively.
Main Features of the New Maternity Bill
1) This amendment will be applicable to all organisations that have a workforce of at least 10 people.
2) Women will be entitled to avail maternity leave for a duration of 26 weeks for the first two children.
3) However, for the third child, the duration of maternity leave will remain at 12 weeks.
4) In case of adoption, women can now avail 12 weeks of maternity leave in the event they legally adopt a child that is no more than 3 months old.
5) Biological mothers can also avail 12 weeks of maternity leave should they choose to have a child through surrogacy.
6) Organisations with a workforce of 50 employees or more will mandatorily be required to ensure that crèche facilities will be available to women within a recommended distance.
7) The bill also states that women will be permitted to visit the crèche up to 4 times in a day.
8) Provisions have also been made wherein employers can allow women to work from home, as long as the nature of the job allows it.
Additional Reading: How To Plan Financially For Maternity Leave
What They Said
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya stated that the amendments were brought about so as to provide maximum benefits to pregnant women, while Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi stated that this was a historical move, as far as moving towards women empowerment was concerned.
On the other hand, Congress member Sushmita Dev expressed concerns that the move could also be counter-productive, since an increase in maternity leave duration could deter organisations from employing women. However, she stated that bringing in paternity benefits instead could sufficiently address this issue.
Maternity Policy at BankBazaar
Here at BankBazaar, we place our hard-working women on a pedestal, and do everything in our power to ensure that they receive the respect they deserve.
Keeping that in mind, we are extremely proud to provide our women folk with 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. In addition, BankBazaar also ensures that they are provided with adequate rest intervals as well as comfortable backrests during their prenatal period. And that’s not all. They can also avail an additional day off on a weekly basis.
All we can say is, more power to them!
Additional Reading: How To Grow Money While Growing A Baby