Everything On Maternity Benefit Act 1961 For Returning MomsPregnancy by Dr. Krutika Kumaresan - 0 Motherhood is a very big responsibility to take and so is choosing to be a mother. There are a lot of aspects that a woman has to think about before going through pregnancy and motherhood later on. One of the very important point to consider is the financial stability, many women are independent and are working, for them quitting their jobs seems like a long shot to take. Instead many of us prefer to take a break and return, to make this process an easy one the government has implemented the ‘ Maternity Benefits Act’ in 1961, and also an amendment which has been based in 2017:So what exactly is Maternity Benefits Act :Maternity act is passed to safeguard the rights of a woman during her pregnancy and even after delivering the baby. It’s been passed in 1961 and an amendment passed in 2017.What benefits does one get from this act :The maternity benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. The amendments will help 1.8 million (approx.) women workforce in organised sector.What are provisions are included in the new amendment of 2016 passed in 2017Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.• 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.• Facilitate ‘Work from home’.• Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.Why is the maternity benefits important :• Maternal care to the Child during early childhood – crucial for growth and development of the child.• The 44th, 45th and 46th Indian Labour Conference recommended enhancement of Maternity Benefits to 24 weeks.• Ministry of Women & Child Development proposed to enhance Maternity Benefit to 8 months.• In Tripartite consultations, all stake holders, in general supported the amendment proposal.The above information is taken from Press Information Bureau, government of India, ministry of labour and empowerment. For more details visit pib.gov.inWhat women need to know :The employer must provide the information about the maternity leaves and other maternity benefits to the employee at the time of joining, this information should be in electronic form or written form. Woman face bias or negligence during the maternity phase so they must know their rights beforehand. The law also entitles a women employee to work from after the completion of the maternity leave period. The employer cannot and shall not terminate the woman during the period of her maternity leave.So, these were a few important points regarding the maternity benefit act 1961, and the amendment of the same which was put forth and passed in different periods in lok sabha and rajya sabha. I hope this would definitely help you to know the scenario when it comes to employee benefits of this act.