Maternity leave might be extended to 26 weeks, work from home option to be included

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Maternity leave might be extended to 26 weeks, work from home option to be included
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Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya might be presenting the much-awaited amendment to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 bill in Rajya Sabha today, which would increase maternity leave to working women to 26 weeks.

Other than that, it also asks for providing 12 weeks of maternity leave to commissioning mothers, who use surrogates to bear a child or adopt a baby below the age of three months, and allowing "work from home" option for nursing mothers.

These changes were proposed by the labour ministry and have recently been approved by the Cabinet, as told to ET by a senior labour ministry official. Dattatreya is hopeful for an easy clearance since the changes proposed are women friendly. Once the bill is passed in Rajya Sabha, it will be tabled in Lok Sabha, where the governing party is in majority.

However, the 26-week leave option will not be available to women employees with two or more children.

The work-from-home option will only be available depending on the job profile of the employees, the duration of which will be mutually agreed upon by the employee and her employer.
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Another change proposed asks for firms with 50 employees to have individual crèches, or a common facility managed by a few firms.

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