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Maternity Bill 2016: What should you know?

SNS | New Delhi |

As the Lok Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, India becomes the country with third highest maternity leave after Canada (50 weeks) and Norway (44 weeks). The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in August last year. With this, the previously granted maternity leave for 12 weeks has been increased to 26 weeks. Here's a list of all the benefits women can enjoy under the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Women employed in organised sectors

Women working in organised sectors are now entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave for the first and second child. However, for the third child the leave remains for 12 weeks. Any organisation with 10 or more employees is supposed to grant maternity leave of 26 weeks.

Maternity leave for adopting mothers

The bill provides 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child under three months of age. The leave is to begin from the day the child has been handed over to the mother.

Maternity leave for commissioning mother

Twelve weeks of leave is granted to a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.

Creche facilities and number of visits per day

The bill also requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the creche a day. This will include her interval for rest.

Work from home facility

An employer can also permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits.