The Rajya Sabha passed the most awaited amendment of offering expectant working mothers, 26 weeks of maternity leave and work from home options for nursing mothers. This bill is now due for approval at Lok Sabha and is expected to be notified to the labour ministry for implementation in the near future.
New mothers generally struggle to balance their motherhood and work life, with a bare minimum maternity leave of just 12 weeks. Many mothers who never had insufficient family support quit their jobs, unable to cope with the dexterity of the role. Few other moms who had family support left their nursing infants with the adults at home and the rest employed a maid to take care of the baby.
Invariably whatever the scenario demanded, 12 weeks of maternity leave was clearly meagre for mothers to recover back from the trauma of labour and bond well with their newborns.
The plan for a longer maternity leave was proposed longer ago, considering hassle encountered by women soon after delivery, but no call was taken officially on this issue for long. Now, after years of wait, this amendment of maternity benefit 1961 passed an enhanced maternity leave term from 12 weeks to 26 weeks with the approval of Rajya Sabha.
The Union cabinet chaired by Narendra Modi also granted approval to the bill considering the welfare of the baby and mother. This act will be applicable to all establishments both private and public who employ more than 10 employees in their firm.
According to this amendment, the delivered mothers can have 26 weeks of maternity leave, 12 weeks will be offered to mothers who have their baby through surrogacy or have adopted a baby below 3 years of age. The amendment also proposes work at home options for nursing mothers even after 26 weeks, dependant on the job profile of the mother.