Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016 passed by parliament
With fast diminishing education gap between women and men in the society  . Women are now actively participating in the professional field both in government and private enterprises  . There are many reliefs which are granted by government among them the most important one is maternity benefits. In order to say that a working woman does not consider pregnancy as any obstruction in her professional life and create any fear in her mind about the loosing of her job, government of India passed Maternity Benefits Act , 1961 which gave certain benefits to working women and to husband of such women for the protection during pre and post childbirth. However, the act was not sufficient to deal with the current scenario to cater the present needs and strengthening of gender equality, therefore, Government of India brought an amend bill change certain provision and give certain benefits to women . Recently the Lok Sabha passed the the amendment bill which was already passed by Rajya Sabha in winter session . Some of salient features of bill are as followings  :

  1. Maternity leave available to the working women to be increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children.
  2. Maternity leave for children beyond the first two will continue to be 12 weeks.
  3. Maternity leave of 12 weeks to be available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to the “commissioning mothers”. The commissioning mother has been defined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other women.
  4. Every establishment with more than 50 employees to provide for crèche facilities for working mothers and such mothers will be permitted to make four visits during working hours to look after and feed the child in the crèche
  5. The employer may permit a woman to work from home if it is possible to do so.
  6. Every establishment will be required to make these benefits available to the women from the time of her appointment.

Geet Prateek is Assistant Professor at LLoyd Law College, Gr. Noida. His area of specialization is Constitutional Law, Family Law and Interpretation of Statute. He can be reached at [email protected]