Rajya Sabha passes bill to extend maternity leave

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to increase the maternity leave to 26 weeks from the present 12 weeks.

The bill provides for maternity leave of 26 weeks to women for two surviving children, and also includes the commissioning and adopting mothers.

The surrogate mothers have, however, been left out, a point which was objected to by several opposition members. They sought Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya’s assurance that the government will examine it and take action.

The bill, which will now go to the Lok Sabha, will lead to the ratification of International Labour Organization convention number 183 that provides for 14 weeks of maternity benefit to women.

The bill also facilitates ‘work from home’ for nursing mothers once the leave period ends and has made creche facility mandatory in respect of establishments with 50 or more employees.

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