The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.
The 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 persons. The amendments will help 1.8 million (approx.) women workforce in organised sector.
The amendments to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 are as follows:
The 44th, 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conference had recommended enhancement of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks. The Ministry of Women & Child Development had also proposed to enhance Maternity Benefit to 8 months.