Update: Frequently Asked Questions: Maternity Benefits Amendment Act 2017

According to the new maternity benefits amendment Act, 2017 women employees will be eligible to get paid maternity leave of 26 weeks. Earlier with effect from 01st January, 2017 employees who are covered under ESI are eligible for 26 weeks of maternity leave.

On 30th March, 2017 Our Honourable President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2017 which will increase maternity leave for eligible employees to 26 weeks from existing 12 weeks. This new 182 days of maternity leave will be fully paid by the employer, and all other benefits which is due to the employee shall also be given to the those employees on maternity leave.

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11th August, 2016 and Lok Sabha on March 9th, 2017.

Highlights of the new Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017

The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Duration of Maternity Leave
  • Women employed in factories, mines, shops and establishments with 10 or more employees, and other notified establishments, are entitled to maternity leave of 12 weeks, with full wages.
  • This maternity leave should not be availed before six weeks from the date of expected delivery.
  • Maternity leave applicable irrespective of number of children.
  • Duration of maternity leave increased to 26 weeks.
  • Changed to eight weeks.
  • For a woman who has two or more children, the maternity leave will be 12 weeks, which can only be availed six weeks before the date of the expected delivery.
Maternity leave for adoptive and commissioning mothers
  • No provision.
  • Provides 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 have a surrogate child.
  • The 12-week period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
Creche facilities
  • No provision.
  • 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.
Option to work from home
  • No provision.
  • An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so.
  • 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.
Employer to inform the woman of maternity benefits
  • No provision.
  • Every establishment has to inform a woman at the time of her appointment of the maternity benefits available to her. This communication must be in writing and electronically.

Share your comments