The Maternity Benefit Act is one of the best steps taken by the government to protect women employment while they experience their Maternity. Maternity Benefit is basically the benefit of getting full paid absence from work. This benefit is given to the woman with the motive to help her in taking care of her child. As per the government rules, every establishment having 10 or more employees need to apply this act in the organization.
Recently our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given approval to some amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. Yes, in Parliament he has introduced the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The amendment introduced in the Parliament will help more than 2 million women currently working in the organizations.
Applicability of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961
The Maternity Benefit Act is applicable to all the organizations including the factories, plantations, mind, government organizations, legislative organizations, shops or any other organization that is centered by the central government.
Eligibility required availing the benefits of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961
As per the details available, women working in any organization for a minimum of 80 days in the last year are eligible to get the Maternity Benefit. The amount given to the pregnant women will be based upon the daily wages that they receive while working.
Latest Changes in the Maternity Benefit Act 1961
As stated above that there are several amendments introduced by our Honorable Prime Minister in the Parliament. After the introduction of the amendment following are the changes in the Maternity benefits act for working women.
The period of maternity leave has been extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the women working in the private sector.
Amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 is applicable for women having two surviving children. That means women having two surviving children will be eligible to get 26 weeks to leave and women having more than two children will get 12-week leave from their working. Also according to the latest amendment if any women adopt a child then she will also get 12-week long maternity leave.
Changes in Organizations Rules
The latest amendment in the Maternity Benefit Act has also mandated the crèches in the organizations where 50 or more employees are working. Additionally, the organizations are also asked to facilitate work from home for the women.
In the Union Cabinet, our honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has given the ex-post facto approval regarding the amendments in the bill on 10th August 2016. Simply we can say that Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced on 10th August 2016 the parliament.
Changes in Organized and Unorganized Sector
While discussing the amendments and the Maternity bill, D Raja of the Communist Party of India has given a suggestion that women who are working in any and organized sector must also get the benefits of this bill.
He further added that only 4% of the working women are an industry in the organized sector. Hence the government should also take steps for the women who are working in the unorganized sector in several States.
After D Raja’s statement, Maneka Gandhi (Minister of Women and Child Development) stated that soon this benefits will be expanded throughout the country for all the women who are working in either organized sector or unorganized sector.
Also, Maneka Gandhi played an important role in pushing this issue forward and also given a proposal that the government should increase the Maternity Benefit up to 8 months.
The amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 are as follows (in Brief)
- Maternity Benefit for women gets increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the women having two surviving children. Women having more than two surviving children will get 12-week leave from her workplace.
- ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’ Will get the benefit of 12 weeks maternity leave
- Organizations will also facilitate work from home conditions
- Mandatory provision of Creche when introduced organizations having more than 50 employees.
Justification of the amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 are as follows:
- For every child, it is important to have proper maternal care
- having proper maternal care is very important for the growth and development of a child
- The enhancement of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks has been recommended by the 44th, 45th, and 46th Indian Labour Conference
- Ministry of Women & Child Development has also given a proposal to increase the maternity leave up to 08 months.
Hence these are all the details about the Maternity Benefit Act 1961.
Solved Example on The Maternity Benefit Act 1961
Question: Maternity Benefit Act 1961 is applicable to which organizations?
- Factories & Plantations
- Government & legislative organizations
- All of the Above.
Answer: The correct answer is D. The Maternity Benefit Act is applicable to all the organizations including the factories, plantations, mind, government organizations, legislative organizations, shops or any other organization that is centered by the central government.