The Union Cabinet on Wednesday granted ex post facto approval to the amendments made to the Maternity Benefits Act, which aims to raise maternity leave for women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
The Cabinet also okayed amendments to the Factories Act. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons and the amendments will help 18 lakh women in the organised sector.
The amendments include 12-week maternity leave for mother of more than two children, 12-week leave to a “commissioning mother”, who uses surrogates to bear a child or adopts a baby below the age of three months, and mandatory provision of creche in respect of establishments having 50 or more employees.
In case of Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the amendments will give a boost to the manufacturing sector and facilitate ease of doing business. These amendments relate to increase in overtime from the existing 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours (Section 64) and existing 75 hours per quarter to 125 (Section 65).