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Soon, 26 weeks maternity leave for expecting working women

  • With the aim to make workplace more “women – friendly”, Women, working in private and public sector will soon get maternity leave of 26 weeks, more than the existing 12 weeks. Furthermore, nursing mothers may be allowed to work from home even after 26 weeks of maternity leave.

    The `work-from-home' option will depend upon the nature of work assigned to an employee, which permits her to do so. The woman employee and her employer will have to mutually agree on the duration of the `work from home' arrangement. The 26-week leave, however, will be not be available for those women employees who have two or more children. And 12 weeks of maternity leave will be provided to those female employees - who use surrogates to bear a child as well as to working women adopting a baby below the age of three months.

    These are some of the significant provisions in the Cabinet note initiated by the labour ministry to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

    These provisions also aim to make it mandatory for firms with 50 employees to have crèches individually or a few firms can set up a common facility within a prescribed distance. The employer will have to allow four visits to the crèche which will include the interval of rest allowed to women employees.
     

    OUR TAKE

    This is a good news for many expecting women, for whom nursing their new born baby within a span of 3 months is not only inadequate but the mental stress that she carries for leaving her baby back at home to go to work is overwhelming. These likely amendments will not only allow her to devote more time to nurturing her baby but also her an option of working from home (in case her job profile allows) and Establishment of crèches will ensure her freedom to attend to her baby and  her work at the same time. 
     


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