The maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which increases maternity leave from present 12 weeks to 26 weeks was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
It provides six-month maternity leave benefit to working women.
The Union cabinet on Wednesday gave ex-post facto approval to increase of maternity leave benefit from 12 to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in parliament, stated an official statement.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them to a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave period 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.