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Govt may increase maternity leave in private sector from 12 to 26 weeks

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is all set to increase the duration of maternity leaves in the private sector from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks, reports say.Women and Child Development minister Maneka

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk Updated on: December 29, 2015 19:35 IST
govt may increase maternity leave in private sector from 12
govt may increase maternity leave in private sector from 12 to 26 weeks

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is all set to increase the duration of maternity leaves in the private sector from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks, reports say.

Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said the Ministry of Labour has agreed to increase maternity leave to six-and-a-half months.

According to an Indian Express report, the Ministry of Labour is expected to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which presently entitles women to 12 weeks of maternity benefit whereby employers are liable to pay full wages for the period of leave.

"Our department had asked that the labour ministry take into account that women need to breastfeed for six months after childbirth," the daily quoted Maneka Gandhi as saying.

The move follows reservations expressed by the Labour Ministry earlier over increasing the period of maternity leave on grounds that doing so would adversely affect the employability of women.

The International Labour Organisation recommends a minimum standard maternity leave of 14 weeks or more, though it encourages member states to increase it to at least 18 weeks.

Women working in the public sector in India get six months of leave, and can take childcare leave of up to two years at any point before their child is 18 years old.

The Union minister has said that a recent analysis of the Maternity Benefit Act showed that discrimination against pregnant women was widely prevalent in the corporate sector in India.

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