India: Amendment to Maternity Benefit Act is historic, but more needs to be done for women in India
The recent amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act providing 26 weeks of maternity leave (against the existing 12 weeks) can be described as historic. The amendment also provides an enabling provision of 12 weeks of “work from home” for nursing mothers. In addition, it has made it mandatory for firms with 50 employees or more to have crèche arrangements with prescribed distance. This amendment is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more people, and will help 1.8 million women in the organised sector. It is expected that the amendment will be passed in the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session, and receive Presidential assent thereafter.