Working Mothers in India

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 12.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 100  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Employer
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? No provision
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 15 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? No
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? No

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.


More about maternity leave:

According to the Maternity Benefit Act female workers are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks (84 days) of maternity leave. Out of these 12 weeks, six weeks leave is post-natal leave. In case of miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, a worker is entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave. Employees are also entitled to one additional month of paid leave in case of complications arising due to pregnancy, delivery, premature birth, miscarriage, medical termination or a tubectomy operation (two weeks in this case).

Female civil servants are entitled to maternity leave for a period of 180 days for their first two live born children.

Source: §6-10 of the Maternity Benefits Act 1961; §43 of the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules 1972

 

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been passed by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016. Once the Bill is passed by Lok Sabha, it will become an Act and its implementation will start. 

Under the Bill, maternity leave is raised from current 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The prenatal leave is also extended from six to eight weeks. However, a woman with already two or more children is entitled to 12 weeks maternity leave. The prenatal leave in this case remains six weeks. 

The bill also provides for adoption leave of 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child under the age of three months. A commissioning mother is also entitled to a 12-week leave from the date the child is handed over to her. A commissioning mother is defines as “biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman” (the woman who gives birth to the child is called host or surrogate mother). 

The Bill further requires an employer to inform a woman worker of her rights under the Act at the time of her appointment. The information must be given in writing and in electronic form (email).

The maternity leave is awarded with full pay on completion of at least 80 days in an establishment in the 12 months prior to her expected date of delivery. The maternity benefit is awarded at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of a worker's actual absence from work. Apart from 12 weeks of salary, a female worker is entitled to a medical bonus of 3,500 Indian rupees.

Under the National Food Security Act 2013, pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to receive maternity benefit of at least Rs. 6,000. The Act further requires that subject to such schemes as may be framed by the Central Government, every pregnant woman and lactating mother will be entitled to free meals during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, through the local anganwadi, so as to meet their nutritional needs.  

Source: §5 of the Maternity Benefits Act 1961; §4of the National Food Security Act 2013

More about parental leave:

There is no provision for parental leave in Indian labour law.