#WorkingMoms Lean In The New Maternity Bill is Coming Soon!
Motherhood undoubtedly is one of the best times for a woman. The joy it brings can’t be compared to anything else in the world. However, for working mothers the time just isn’t sufficient. Maternal care needs time, World Health Organisation's mandate to exclusively breastfeed the child for the first six months is overwhelming for them, and often comes at the cost of a mother’s career.
The scene is now about to change, with amendments in the Maternity Benefit Act mothers will now get a 26 week long break to be with their child.
“The new maternity law is almost life changing for me!” exclaims Anshu, IT project lead at Infosys and a mother of one, “I wasn’t planning for another child as my career would have suffered, I already took a year long sabbatical with my first one. Taking it again was out of question!”
Sunita, a journalist with leading day goes on to share that, “It is next to impossible for a married woman in India, to take a decision of not having a child for the same of one’s career progression. Husband and family show support in initially but, slowly begin to withdraw.... I am in a very dynamic occupation where I need to continuously reinvent myself to be in the game. I had been deferring the opportunity to be a mother for five years now, because it could have either hampered my career or my child would have had to learn to be without me. This act is real welcome change.”
- Duration of maternity leave: The Bill increases maternity benefit of paid leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
- Maternity leave for adoptive and commissioning mothers: The Bill introduces a provision to grant 12 weeks of maternity leave to: (i) a woman who legally adopts a child below three months of age; and (ii) a commissioning mother.
- Option to work from home: The Bill introduces a provision that states that an employer may permit a woman to work from home.
- Crèche facilities: The Bill introduces a provision which requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day.
- Informing women employees of the right to maternity leave: The Bill introduces a provision which requires every establishment to intimate a woman at the time of her appointment of the maternity benefits available to her.
The revolutionary bill has been passed in the Rajya Sabha and is pending approval in Lok Sabha. There has been a strong speculation that bill will surely be agreed on and the law will be enforced soon for the betterment of all.