The maternity benefit in India was passed in 2017. Under this new law, the maternity leave was raised from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Pre-natal leave was also extended from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.
However, for a woman who already had more than two children, this was extended to 12 weeks of maternity leave. The prenatal for this case remained at 6 weeks.
The act also provided for the option of adoption, which was also considered as maternity leave for 12 weeks, if a woman adopts a child that is under 3 months old. The commission also entitled for them a 12-weeks leave from the date they received the child.
The commissioning mother was defined as “the biological mother.” This is a woman who creates her own eggs for fertilization by a sperm to create an embryo. A woman who gave birth for another woman was to be known as the “surrogate mother.”
Maternity Leave Act for Employers
The act also required employers to ensure that women were well informed of their rights when being employed. This information should be communicated through a letter or in an email. Women are entitled to have at least 180 days of maternity leave for the first two pregnancies.
Further, according to the law, female workers were entitled to 12 weeks, or 84 days of maternity leave. Of the 12 weeks, 6 weeks would be for post pregnancy leave. In case they had a miscarriage, or had a termination of pregnancy, the workers were entitled to 6 weeks maternity leave that was paid.
Employers were required to add one more month of paid leave if there were any complications that arose from the pregnancy, such as premature births, medical termination, miscarriage, or tubectomy operation.
The maternity leave that is awarded, has to be accompanied by full pay, for the 80 days, and this should be established 12 months prior to their delivery dates. The maternity benefits that are awarded should be the same as their daily wage rate for all women.
Additionally, in 2013, National Food Security Act was passed and it stated that all lactating and pregnant women were required to receive the maximum maternity benefits of Rs. 6,000.
They are also required to receive free meals during their pregnancy, and for 6 months after delivery. This was to be done locally through the Anganwadi so they can meet their daily nutritional requirements.
Non-standard Workers – The Income Replacement during Maternity
If you are a self-employed worker, then theoretically, you are covered under the unorganized workers social security act that was passed in 2008. The National Social Security Board constituted an act that recommended the formulation of the social security schemes.
The Draft code for social security talks of initiation into the suitable social security schemes for workers and platform workers on all matters that relate to life and disability cover, old age protection, health and maternity benefits and all other benefits that have been determined by the government.
How to Get Free Medical Care
All pregnant women workers are entitled to free maternity benefits in the form of a medical bonus. This is Rs. 1,000 for non-prenatal confinement or if the employer is willing to provide the post-natal care for free.
Additionally, the Central Government has authorized the increase in this amount after every three years. As of August 2008, the total amount of bonus was around Rs. 2500 and this was later raised to Rs. 3500 in 2011.
If you are currently pregnant, we hope that we have given you all of the required information for your maternity leave, and how much time you are entitled to. This is actually your right as a citizen and you must be careful to read the fine print clearly, so that your employer doesn’t take you for granted.
Every pregnant woman in India is currently entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave. Also, take a look above for how long you are entitled in case you suffer a miscarriage, or if you adopt a child. All of these situations have been taken care of.