Expected Labour Law Changes in India

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 ("MB Bill") was passed in the Rajya Sabha 


(Upper House) on 11 August 2016:   Subject to the approval by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and assent of the President of India, the MB Bill is set to become law on a date to be notified in the Official Gazette. The main provisions appear below.

Action  required:  None  immediately. Monitor progress of the MB Bill and review current policies and procedures in the light of the expected new rules.

Increased Paid Maternity Leave:  The MB Bill will increase maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks. In addition, the start date for maternity leave is proposed to increase to 8 weeks before the expected date of delivery and 18 weeks after childbirth.

For woman who have 2 or more children, the duration of maternity leave shall continue to be 12 weeks (i.e. 6 weeks pre and 6 weeks post the date of delivery).

Action  required: None immediately. Monitor progress of the MB Bill and review current policies and procedures in the light of the expected new rules.

Maternity leave for adoptive and surrogate mothers:  The MB Bill will extend certain maternity benefits to adoptive and surrogate mothers as well and every such woman employee shall be entitled to 12 (twelve) weeks of maternity leave.

Action  required: None immediately. Monitor progress of the MB Bill and review current policies and procedures in the light of the expected new rules.

Crèche facilities:  The MB Bill will make crèche facilities mandatory for companies employing 50 or more women. Women employees will be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the course of each day.

Action  required: None immediately. Monitor progress of the MB Bill and review current policies and procedures in the light of the expected new rules.

Informing women about their rights:  The MB Bill makes it mandatory for employers to inform women employees about the maternity benefits at the time of their recruitment.

Action  required: None immediately. Monitor progress of the MB Bill and review current policies and procedures in the light of the expected new rules.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.


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