Maternity Benefits for Women in India

With every passing year more and more, women in India are getting employed and working hand in hand with male members of the family. But, one event that is integral to the life of most of the married women is pregnancy and delivery. It’s a phase of life that involves living at home with the infant and caretaking. Hence, the maternity leaves benefit. Many of us aren’t much aware that the Government of India has already passed a Maternity bill in 2016 and about its details.

As per the bill, a woman employee is eligible to get fully paid leave in order to take care of the child and herself. It also protects the employment during the time and is applicable to all business organizations with a workforce of over 10 employees. Here is a rundown the bill features:

maternity benefits for women in India

  • The maternity leave for working women bearing the first or second child is set to 26 weeks. Earlier it was 12 weeks only.
  • For the 3rd child or more, the leave is only 12 weeks.
  • Maternity benefit of 12 weeks is also applicable to a woman who adopts a child below three months and commissioning mothers as well. Commissioning mothers are those who use their egg to create an embryo that is planted in another woman.
  • The bill also mentions working from home facility if the nature of work is such that the employee can work from home, in case the employer and the woman both agree.
  • The bill states that an organization with more than 50 employees need to provide crèche facilities for working mothers and even the facility to visit the child in the crèche four times a day for feeding and resting as well.
  • The maternity benefits need to be intimated to the woman employee in writing at the time of appointment.

The maternity benefit bill is passed by the Parliament in the Lok Sabha for the purpose of regulation of employment of woman in all areas of the working like circus, mines, shops or establishments with 10 or more employees.

Multinational companies have already included these benefits and many corporate giants are still jumping the bandwagon offering not only maternity leaves but flexi-hour working with full pay as well. One such company in Bangalore has even offered one-year career break without salary for maternity. MNC’s are even providing additional benefits that are not mentioned under the maternity benefits bill. In order to woo women employee companies making lucrative offers that include benefits like parental counseling, insurance benefits, maternity tie-ups with hospitals, transport reimbursement to name a few. Another well- known banking sector firm has offered a package of 1.32 lacs only for child care to women in addition to salary.

Well, there are many more corporate who are willing to adopt the flexible maternity policies in India because they are well aware that maternity is one such milestone in the lives of women when they decide to quit their jobs.

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