The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016 (“Amendment Act”), which was passed by Parliament on March 9th, 2017, introduced certain significant changes to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (“MB Act”). The Amendment Act received Presidential assent on March 27th, 2017 and came into effect from April 1st, 2017 except for the provisions, that require an employer to provide a creche facility. These are scheduled to become effective from July 1st, 2017.

Subsequent to the introduction of the Amendment Act and clarifications issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on April 12th, 2017 (“Clarification”), several questions have been raised by companies with respect to their obligations as employers under certain aspects of the Amendment Act.

Continue Reading Analysis of Certain Aspects of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016

On August 11, 2016, the Government of India (GoI) introduced the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill) in the Parliament. The Bill was introduced to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Act) – the Act, as many may be aware, is the legislation to provide certain benefits to women in the context of pregnancy. The Act is applicable to factories, mines and plantations as well as to every ‘shop and establishment’ (a statutory term that would ordinarily cover various organizations in the private sector with an office/place of business in India) in which ten or more persons, are/ were, employed, on any day over the preceding twelve months.

On September 11, 2008, the GoI introduced the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission relating to enhancement of the amount of maternity leave and introduced child care leave in respect of central government employees. Effectively this resulted in increase in maternity leave and child care leave. Separately, several companies in the private sector introduced more beneficial provisions for female employees including better maternity leave than the Act provided. However, the Act did not introduce any changes in line with the changing needs of working women /mothers which the Bill intends to address.
Continue Reading Maternity Benefit Law : Key Developments