GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-2641
Paid maternity leave to women employed by private organizations and companies
2641 . Shri Avinash Pande
(a) whether Government is planning to formulate any policy or guidelines laying down minimum specifications for the provisions of paid maternity leave to women employed by organisations and companies in the private sector; and
(b) if so, the details thereof and if not the reasons therefor?
MINISTER OF STATE(IC) FOR LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
(SHRI BANDARU DATTATREYA)
(a) & (b): The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is a social security legislation enacted to promote the welfare of working women. The Act prohibits the working of pregnant women for a specified period before and after delivery. It also provides for maternity leave and payment of certain monetary benefits to women workers subject to fulfillment of certain conditions during the period when they are out of employment on account of pregnancy. It can be extended to other establishments by the State Governments subject to prior approval of the Central Government.
The following benefits are available under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961:
(i) Twelve weeks of maternity leave out of which six weeks before the expected date of delivery.
(ii) In case of tubectomy operation, two weeks leave with wages immediately following the day of her tubectomy operation.
(iii) One month maternity leave to a woman worker suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child (miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation)
(iv) Two nursing breaks of 15 minutes until the child attains the age of 15 months.
(v) Medical bonus of Rs.3500/- if no pre-natal confinement and post-natal care is provided by the employer free of charge.
(vi) Immunity from dismissal during absence of pregnancy.
(vii) No deduction of wages of woman entitled to maternity benefit.
Further, a proposal to increase the existing maternity leave from twelve weeks to twenty four weeks under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, is under consideration of the Government.