- The Women and Child Development Ministry announced on November 15 that the Central Government will give employers the salaries for seven of the 26 weeks of maternity leave for women earning more than 15,000 rupees a month,.
- The announcement, which covers the government as well as the private sector, comes in the wake of complaints that many companies were reluctant to hire pregnant women after maternity leave was extended from 12 to 26 weeks and some were even firing women employees.
- As per the WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava, it has been decided to utilise the funds lying in the labour welfare cess to pay the employers.
- He said, after talks with the Labour Ministry it has been decided that the seven of the 26 weeks of maternity leave for all women employees in the private and government sector getting more than 15,000 rupees a month would be paid from that fund.
- Maternity leave was extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks last year.
- Maternity Benefit Act 1961, is an act to regulate the employment of women in certain establishment for certain
period (26 weeks) before and after child-birth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits. Every woman are entitled to, and her employer are liable for, the payment of maternity benefit at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence immediately preceding and including the day of her delivery and immediately following that day.