Important Topics for UPSC 2017 Exams (Amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961)
Important Topics for UPSC 2017 Exams (Amendments to the
Maternity Benefit Act, 1961)
is the Act all about?
Maternity benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the
time of her maternity and entitles her of a 'maternity benefit' - i.e. full
paid absence from work - to take care for her child.
The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more
The amendments will help 1.8 million women workforce in organised
What are the Amendments?
Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving
children and 12 weeks for more than two childern.
12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a 'Commissioning mother' and 'Adopting
Facilitate 'Work from home'.
Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or
Obligation to notify: An obligation on employers to inform (in writing
and electronically) to every woman newly appointed within the organization
about the benefits available under the MB Act.
Why these Amendments?
Maternal care to the Child during early childhood - crucial for growth
and development of the child.
The 44th, 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conference recommended enhancement
of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks.
Ministry of Women & Child Development proposed to enhance Maternity
Benefit to 8 months.
In Tripartite consultations, all stake holders, in general supported the
Analysis and Major Issue
As per WHO, 24 weeks of maternity leave is essential to secure mother
and child health.
However, since the costs of this leave are to be borne by the employer,
it may have an adverse impact on job opportunities for women.
Different countries have different funding models in relation to
maternity benefits. In some countries the employer bears the cost, while in
some others it is paid by the government.
Since women are allowed to have 26 weeks of maternity leave for two
children, the period of leave for a third child will be 12 weeks. This could
affect the growth and development of the third born child.
It includes women workers employed in organised sector only. However, a
majority of the women labourforce, who are in the unorganised sectors, may
not be covered. financing of such benefits.