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9th August 2016 Current Affairs Questions and Answers

9th August 2016 Current Affairs MCQs, Quiz, Questions : Current Affairs for August 2016 ,  Daily Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) for In...

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on 11 August 2016. The bill aims to increase maternity leave for working women from 12 to 26 weeks. It will also provide 12 weeks of maternity leave to “commissioning and adopting” mothers and will introduce an option of work-from-home for nursing mothers. With the passage of this bill, India will join the league of 42 countries where maternity leave exceeds 18 weeks. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommends a minimum standard maternity leave of 14 weeks or more, though it encourages member states to increase it to at least 18 weeks.

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 Highlights:

  • The Act states that every woman will be entitled to maternity benefit of 12 weeks.  The Bill increases this to 26 weeks.
  • In case of a woman who has two or more children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before six weeks from the date of the expected delivery.
  • 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.  A commissioning mother is defined as a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another woman.
  • The 12-week period of maternity benefit will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or 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.  This would apply if the nature of work assigned to the woman permits her to work from home.  This option can be availed of, after the period of maternity leave, for a duration that is mutually decided by the employer and the woman.
  • 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.  This will include her interval for rest.