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Maternity Act


  

Government Halves Spending On Maternity Benefit Programme

As per this news report, the Modi government on Wednesday virtually halved the number of beneficiaries under its Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP) by restricting the scheme to firstborns instead of ‘first two live births’ as applicable earlier. 

Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act update: Clarification from ministry

The ministry of labour and employment has issued an important clarification on the recent notified maternity benefits (amendment ) Act 2017.  As per the clarification, it is now mandatory for the employers to  extend the enhanced maternity benefits to all those women employees who were already on the maternity leave at the time of enactment of the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act 2017 i.e. 1st April 2017.   A copy of the press note issued by Labour ministry in this regard  is attached.  For any feedback/concerns, write to NASSCOM policy team at policyquery@nasscom.in

In focus: Capgemini

We are getting in touch with companies to understand how they are preparing to implement the maternity law. Here is how Capgemini is doing it: Capgemini in India offers a 26 weeks maternity leave. This policy was introduced in January 2017. Additionally we offer paternity leave of 5 days and also ‘Leave for Adoption’ of 60 calendar days. Additional facilities include:   Provision of out-house crèche facilities or day care facilities across PAN India offices of Capgemini. In-house crèche facilities at key locations. Provision of lactation rooms across PAN India offices of Capgemini. Flexi work option framework for employees – Employees may choose work from home OR reduced working hours option for a specific period . Fare welcome – This program is designed to assist in women colleagues...

Maternity Bill – doubts?

I thought it worthwhile to start a thread on the doubts we may have on the Maternity bill. One clear one that we all see has been what the ‘prescribed distance’ means. Is there any updated information on this from any reliable source?  A second question is – will the mere presence of a daycare facility suffice, if it requires employees to pay from their pockets at full market rate or whatever rate the service provider may decide to charge?  The more clarity is provided, the more companies would be able to plan their strategies appropriately. What are the other questions? 

Will Female Hiring At Startups Get Affected?

While the intentions of the law are forward looking, implemntation will throw up a lot of issues. I am optimistic that despite the confusion that next few years will bring, this is a step in the right direction. Childcare is a social and not a woman’s responsibility and a modern society has to go back to the ways children were raised: socially.  However, we can’t deny the issues. Regulations, infrastructure and affordability will be key issues. For example, this news item talks about startups. Here is an excerpt:  Varun Sheth, Founder and CEO of Ketto, a promising crowdfunding startup, had this to say, “Smaller startups battling budget constraints will not prefer females since the cost of hiring them would increase too”.

Key provisions of the Maternity Bill

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 (“Maternity Bill”), was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 9, 2017. The Rajya Sabha had passed the Maternity Bill earlier in August, 2016. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is applicable to every establishment having 10 or more employees. Following are the key provisions of the Maternity Bill:  The period of maternity leave has been increased to 26 weeks from the current 12 weeks for the first two children. For subsequent children, the period of maternity leave remains unchanged i.e. 12 weeks. Out of the 26 weeks of maternity leave, not more than 8 weeks can be taken before the date of expected delivery, whereas earlier, the pre-natal period was prescribed to be not more than 6 weeks. Employers are required to provide 12 weeks of maternity leave to c...