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Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill to be introduced in Rajya Sabha today

Rekha Patel (L), 42, from Britain, cares for her week-old-baby girl Gabriella, inside a hotel room in Anand town, about 70 km (44 miles) south from the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 27, 2013. Gabriella was carried and delivered by an Indian surrogate mother Naina Patel. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)
Rekha Patel (L), 42, from Britain, cares for her week-old-baby girl Gabriella, inside a hotel room in Anand town, about 70 km (44 miles) south from the western Indian city of Ahmedabad August 27, 2013. Gabriella was carried and delivered by an Indian surrogate mother Naina Patel. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY)

New Delhi: Following the Cabinet approving the amendment made to the Maternity Benefit Act, which aims to raise maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks, will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha today for consideration and passing.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, yesterday gave its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them of a full paid absence from work to take care for the child.

The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave to 26 weeks in all establishments, including private sector. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.

The bill also provides 12 weeks leave for commissioning and adopting mothers and makes it mandatory to provide creche facility for establishment where the number of workers is 50 and above.

At present, the Maternity Benefit Act does not provide any maternity leave for commissioning or adopting mothers.

Maternal care to the Child during early childhood is crucial for growth and development of the child. The amendments will help 18 lakh women workforce in organised sector. (ANI)

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