India joins Norway, Canada with longest maternity leave
The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill would vault India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks allowed for maternity leave

India joins Norway, Canada with longest maternity leave [Governance]

  • The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill would vault India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks allowed for maternity leave, behind Norway (44) and Canada (50).
  • The Bill was aimed at increasing women’s participation in the workforce which is “decreasing day-by-day.”
  • However, a woman who has two or more children will continue to get only 12 weeks maternity leave.
  • For the first time, women adopting a newborn, aged below three, and ‘commissioning mothers’ will also be entitled to maternity benefits and will get leave for three months.
  • A commissioning mother is defined as “a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another woman.”
  • The Bill has an enabling provision which states that if the “nature of work” permits, woman may also be allowed to ‘work from home’ after the period of maternity leave.
  • Establishments with at least 50 workers will have to provide crèche facilities within a certain distance and women will be allowed four visits to crèche in a day.