Maternity Leave In India Increased To Six Months : The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, passed by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016, has also been passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017.
Under the new Law, maternity leave is raised from current 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The prenatal leave is also extended from six to eight weeks. However, a woman with already two or more children is entitled to 12 weeks’ maternity leave. The prenatal leave in this case remains six weeks.
The Act also provides for adoption leave of 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child under the age of three months. A commissioning mother is also entitled to a 12-week leave from the date the child is handed over to her. A commissioning mother is defined as “biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman” (the woman who gives birth to the child is called host or surrogate mother).
The Act further requires an employer to inform a woman worker of her rights under the Act at the time of her appointment. The information must be given in writing and in electronic form (email).
Female civil servants are entitled to maternity leave for a period of 180 days for their first two live born children.
Before March 2017, the law provided following rights.
According to the Maternity Benefit Act female workers are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks (84 days) of maternity leave. Out of these 12 weeks, six weeks leave is post-natal leave. In case of miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, a worker is entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave. Employees are also entitled to one additional month of paid leave in case of complications arising due to pregnancy, delivery, premature birth, miscarriage, medical termination or a tubectomy operation (two weeks in this case).
Source: §3-10 of the Maternity Benefits Act 1961, amended in 2017; §43 of the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules 1972
Who is entitled to maternity leave benefits?
Any female employee who has worked for the same employer for a minimum of 80 days during the 12-month period before the date of expected birth, is entitled to maternity leave. The important point about this rule is that it has to be the same employer, and the 80 days cant be carried over to a new employer.
What are the maternity leave benefits in India?
The maternity leave benefit was increased in 2017 to 26 weeks of paid leave, and 12 weeks to adopt a child younger than three months. It can be taken pre-birth for up to 8 weeks, and the remainder after delivery. For employees that already have two or more children, the leave period is shortened to 12 weeks.
Is there paternity leave benefits in India?
There are no paternity leave benefits in India by statute, and any leave would have to be offered in the employment contract.