In a welcome move, the Union Cabinet has extended the duration of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
The women and child development ministry mooted the proposal in September 2015.
The bill that was opposed by several opposition parties, was passed by the Lower House after Congress and Left parties staged a walkout. Besides, Congress, the bill was also opposed by the Left parties, TMC, JDU and IUML.
Here's a closer look at the new maternity laws:
5 things you need to know about Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
1. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a full paid absence from work - to take care for her child.
2. It is applicable to all organisations employing 10 or more persons. The amendments are expected to benefit over 1.8 million women in the workforce.
3. The amendments include increasing maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children, 12 weeks maternity leave to a 'Commissioning mother' and 'Adopting mother' and mandatory provision of creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
4. In the case of the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the approved amendments will give boost to manufacturing sector and facilitate ease of doing business with an aim to enhance employment opportunities.
5. These amendments relate to increase in overtime hours from the existing 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours (Section 64) and existing 75 hours per quarter to 125 hours (Section 65).
--With PTI inputs