Image result for maternity leaveParliament approved on Thursday a bill granting women, working in the organised sector, paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks now.

The law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for the first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be 12 weeks.

With this, India becomes the country with the third highest maternity leave. Canada and Norway grant 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively as paid maternity leave.

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday. Rajya Sabha had passed it in August last year.

Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said,“This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated International Women’s Day.”

Here is what you need to know:

  1. The bill provides for 12 weeks of maternity leave to a woman who legally adopts a child under three months of age and a commissioning mother (defined as a biological mother) who uses her egg to have a surrogate child.
  2. The bill also requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the creche a day. This will include her interval for rest.
  3. It has also made a provision under which an employer can permit a woman to work from home if the nature of work assigned permits.