Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 Comes Into Force From Today [Read Notifications]

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 Comes Into Force From Today [Read Notifications]

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 comes into force from today, i.e. April 1, 2017. However, the provisions relating to permission required to work from home (Section 3(5) of the Act), will come into effect from July 1, 2017.

The Act had received the assent of the President on March 27, 2017 and it was notified in the official gazette on 28th March.

But Section 2 of the Amendment Act states as follows;

“S(2). It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint :

Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision”


It 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 persons. The amendments will help 1.8 million (approx.) women workforce in organized sector.


Salient Features of the Act:

(i) Maternity leave available to the working women to be increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children.

(ii) Maternity leave for children beyond the first two will continue to be 12 weeks.

(iii) Maternity leave of 12 weeks to be available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to the “commissioning mothers”. The commissioning mother has been defined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman.

(iv) Every establishment with more than 50 employees to provide for crèche facilities for working mothers and such mothers will be permitted to make four visits during working hours to look after and feed the child in the crèche.

(v) The employer may permit a woman to work from home if it is possible to do so.

(vi) Every establishment will be required to make these benefits available to the women from the time of her appointment.

Read the notifications here.