India: Consulting & IT firms took the leap before Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill 2016 passed in Council of States

Ministry of labour is taking initiaves to support women workforce in both the government and private sector. The union government is set to increase the maternity leave for women employed in private firms from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Women employed in government jobs in India get a six-month maternity leave as per the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules 1972. The Ministry will mandate creches in the offices. Employers in both government and private sectors will soon be required to provide crèche facilities for employees, either on the office premises or within a 500-metre distance. The Ministry of Labour is expected to introduce a new provision in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which will mandate all establishments with 30 women or 50 employees, whichever is less, to ensure employees have access to crèches in the vicinity.

 

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Article
15 March 2017

India: Maternity leave rule could worsen pregnancy discrimination

Author: Amrita Mukherjee, Asia Times

In a landmark bill passed on March 9 in the Lok Sabha, lower house of the Indian Parliament, maternity leave for women in the organized sector has been increased from 12 weeks to 26...Although even before the bill was passed companies such as Airtel had already introduced 22-week leave, Flipkart 24 weeks with work-from-home and flex-time facilities, and Microsoft India the same, looking at the bigger picture some critics expressed fears that longer maternity leave could mean more pregnancy discrimination against women...Pregnancy discrimination is an issue faced by women the world over, but in India it is probably more rampant and with much less legal effort to stop it than in other progressive countries...Congress member of Parliament Sushmita Dev rightly said that once amendments raised the period of maternity leave to 26 weeks from 12, it could act as a deterrent for the private sector to employ women...Since the employer has to pay the salary during the leave period, the amendment might turn out to be counterproductive...Dev said. In India the number of women at entry-level positions constitutes about 25% of the workforce. At mid-level positions the number drops to 16%. At the senior management level the number goes down further, to 4%.

 

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Article
20 August 2016

India: The new Maternity Benefits Act disregards women in the unorganised sector

Author: Neeta Lal, Wire

The passage of the landmark Maternity Benefits Act 1961 by the Indian parliament, which mandates 26 weeks of paid leave for mothers as against the existing 12, has generated more heartburn than hurrahs due to its skewed nature...The critics point out that the new law will benefit only a minuscule percentage of women employed in the organised sector while ignoring a large demographic toiling in the country’s unorganised sector such as contractual workers, farmers, casual workers, self-employed women and housewives...India sees 29.7 million women getting pregnant each year....Even if the law is fully implemented...studies show that it will benefit only 1.8 million.

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Article
11 August 2016

Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill 2016 passed in Rajya Sabha

Author: Indian Express

Following the Cabinet approving the amendment made to the Maternity Benefit Act, which aims to raise maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks, the Rajya Sabha has passed the amendment...The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them of a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave to 26 weeks in all establishments, including private sector.

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Article
7 August 2016

Ericsson India extends paid maternity leaves to 26 weeks

Author: Namrata Singh, Times News Network

In order to provide adequate support helping balance employees' role as parents along with their work commitments, Ericsson India has extended paid maternity leaves to 26 weeks. The company said it will also offer the same benefits in case of adoption if the child is less than one year old.

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Article
20 February 2016

India: Deloitte declares 26 weeks of maternity leave for women employees; PWC, EY, KPMG to follow suit

Author: Prachi Verma, Economic Times

Even as the labour ministry is busy putting the amended Maternity Benefit Act together that would entitle working women in private sectors to 26 weeks of maternity leave from the existing 12, the big four consulting firms have already taken a leap. While Deloitte has declared 26 weeks of maternity leave for its woman employees, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and KPMG are in the process of finalising such policies...PwC is planning to retain women who leave for maternity with an 'umbilical cord' of up to seven years or so. This would allow women on maternity leave to be on the rolls of the company without actively working and without pay...Deloitte is shortly introducing campaigns like "Bringing Women Back to Work" and "Men as Champions" at all its offices in India...only a handful of other companies have announced a six month maternity leave for women. Microsoft India is one of the recent ones to do so. 

 
 

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Article
2 January 2016

India: Changing gender roles across professions in India

Author: Poulomi Banerjee, Hindustan Times

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Article
2 January 2016

India: Changing gender roles across professions in India

Author: Poulomi Banerjee, Hindustan Times

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Article
2 January 2016

India: Changing gender roles across professions in India

Author: Poulomi Banerjee, Hindustan Times

Across the world, gender disparity at the workplace is so obvious that it is almost too easy to miss...Though the UN has been vocal in its attempt to provide equal opportunities for women across the world, and lent its support to ending violence against women, promoting leadership and participation and the cause of economic empowerment for women, the move to correct the imbalance within its ranks, turns the focus onto the position of women in professions that have been traditional male bastions. Especially in India, where the accusations of patriarchy and gender bias are common...The first woman to join officer rank in the Indian police service in 1972, Kiran Bedi remembers how in 1997 a male colleague two years her junior had been chosen as commissioner instead of her. “It was a clear case of preference...While only four per cent of officers in the Army were women, the percentage in Navy was five per cent...There’s never been a woman Chief Justice of India.

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Article
30 December 2015

India Considers Extending Maternity Leave to Eight Months

Author: Suryatapa Bhattacharya, Wall Street Journal

The Indian government is considering ratcheting up the length of paid maternity leave to eight months in a move to combat the country’s chronic malnutrition problems. The Ministry of Women & Child Development wants to increase the minimum required leave for female employees from the current three months at private companies and six months at government offices. It has sent its proposal to the cabinet. If the cabinet approves it, then it will amend the country’s maternity benefit act and other regulations to include the longer leave.The ministry has decided that eight months of leave is needed to allow women enough time to breastfeed their children for the first six months of their lives, a crucial time for development.

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Article
28 December 2015

Govt to increase maternity leave in private sector to 26 weeks

Author: Shalini Nair, Indian Express

The union government is set to increase the maternity leave for women employed in private firms from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi Monday said the Ministry of Labour has agreed to increase maternity leave to six-and-a-half months. “We had written to the Labour Ministry asking that the maternity leave be extended taking into account the six months of breastfeeding that is required post childbirth. The Labour Ministry has agreed to increase it to six-and-a-half months,” said Maneka.

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