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Everything On Maternity Benefit Act 1961 For Returning Moms

Maternity Benefit Act 1961

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 2017

Increase 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.in

What 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.

Dr. Krutika Kumaresan
Dr. Krutika Kumaresan MPT is an Adult and Paediatric Neuro therapist.I am a mother of a beautiful baby girl. She is the most precious thing to have happened to me. Motherhood in the eyes of a medical professional is completely different. Very often I find myself in a dilemma when she is sick I become frozen and panicked. As a first time mother it is sometimes overwhelming and full of surprises. Yes being in medical professional helps me tackle a few things here and there but what I have learnt through the journey so far is it’s okay to not know or being not able to decide for yourself. It’s okay if you seek somebody’s help. It doesn’t mean that you are weak or don’t have enough knowledge it just means you are new at this and trying to do your best. It takes great courage to accept your short comings and learn about it in the process. As a mother and as a medical professional I have just one advice and tip to all the parents out there do not ever try and compare your little one to other children. Every child is unique and is a blessing enjoy their childhood and let them be.                                                                                                                

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