Rajya Sabha passes maternity benefits amendments -A Bill seeking to enhance maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks was passed on Thursday in Rajya Sabha.

The Bill, drafted in consultation with the Women and Child Development Ministry, was moved by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.

Rajya Sabha passes maternity benefits amendments

A record of 10 out of 15 parliamentarians who discussed the Bill were women. While everyone supported the Bill, MPs such as Jaya Bachchan, Vijila Sathyanandhan and Ashok Siddarth sought to increase the leave period upto one year.

Many MPs suggested including paternity leave in the Bill. Nominated MP Anu Aga said, “Men leave the burden of bringing up kids to women. By bringing paternity leave, we can sensitise them on bringing up children.”

BSP MP Satish Chandra pointed out that while the Bill includes adoptive and commissioning mothers, it doesn’t mention surrogate mothers. He was supported by Kanimozhi and Derek O’Brien.

After Mr. Dattatreya assured the House the issue would be examined, the Bill was passed. It will now go to Lok Sabha to get its clearance.

What the Bill gives you:

  1. 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.
  2.  Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
  3. Facilitate ‘Work from home’ if such a provision is provided by the Employer.
  4. Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
  5. The amendments is believed to help approximately 1.8 million women workforce in organised sector.

Source- The Hindu

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