Union Labour Ministey bring amendment to Maternity Benefit Act

Maternity Benefit Act 24indianews

Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Thursday reportedly “expressed his ministry’s readiness” to bring an amendment to Maternity Benefit Act to revise the duration of maternity leave from 12 weeks at present to 26 weeks. The development comes after Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi discussed the issue with Dattatreya who is learnt to have expressed his “readiness” to take up the matter. The women and child development ministry had mooted the proposal in September last for extending the maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks which, if implemented, will benefit all working women including those in private sector. However, the matter is with the Group of Ministers (GoM) after being forwarded by the Cabinet for further consultation. The two ministers met on the sidelines of a meeting of various ministries with the World Bank where Maneka once again made a strong push for revising the duration of maternity leave. “Labour Minister said he is all ready to bring it to the Parliament session in the form of an amendment,” a senior women ministry official said. Once approved by the Cabinet, the Labour Ministry will move a proposal in Parliament for an amendment to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The proposal received support from various ministries but a final call on the matter will be taken by Group of Minister. Women and child development ministry has been demanding eight months of maternity leave in pursuance of the WHO’s recommendations for six months exclusive breastfeeding to infants for healthy growth and development.

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