Requirements to avail Benefit
1. Woman having two or more than two surviving children shall have in total 12 weeks and 6 weeks shall be taken before her delivery.
2. Woman who legally adopts a child below 3 months can avail 12 weeks of maternity leave from the date the child is handed over.
3. Woman employee should have minimum 80 working days to her credit in last 12 months counting from start of maternity leave to be eligible for maternity benefits in that organization.
Points to remember after Amendment
1. Creche Facility
Every establishment having 50 or more employees shall have facility of crèche within a prescribed distance.
2. Work from home
The MB Amendment Act has also introduced an enabling provision relating to “work from home” for women, which may be exercised after the expiry of the 26 weeks’ leave period. Depending upon the nature of work, women employees may be able to avail this benefit on terms that are mutually agreed with the employer.
Clarifications by Ministry
Responding to the queries on the revised provisions under the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (“Act”), the Ministry of Labour and Employment has clarified as follows:
1. The enhanced maternity benefits can be extended to women, who are already under maternity leave as on 1st April, 2017.
2. Women who had already availed 12 weeks of maternity leave prior to 1st April, 2017, will not be entitled to avail the extended benefits of the 26 weeks leave.
3. Any dismissal / discharge of a woman from her services by her employer during her pregnancy is unlawful and such conduct is punishable under the Act.
4. The extended benefits under the Act is applicable to all women employees working in mines, plantations, shops and establishments and factories, both the organized as well as the unorganized sectors.
5. The Act is applicable to all women who are employed in any capacity directly or through any agency i.e. either on contractual or as consultant.
May 15th, 2017