In what looked like a gift to women in India, Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya announced that paid maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 2016 and finally it’s been given a nod. Earlier, new mothers were entitled to just 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.
The law applies to the first and the second child, however, in case of the birth of a third child, the maternity leave will be 12 weeks. The law will apply to all the organisations which employ more than 10 people. After Norway and Canada, India is now in the third position to have maximum paid maternity leaves.
“This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day,” said Mr. Dattatreya.
Neha Bhandari, a 26-year-old mother-to-be says, “I’m glad that the bill has now been amended and women can spend more time with the new born child. I wish there was something done about paternity leave too. Having your husband with you during the initial days post the birth is a huge relief.”
At the moment , paternity leave in India is 15 days.