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Indian women may get a longer paid maternity leave!

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New Delhi :A move is afoot to more than double the maternity leave period for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

The Labour Ministry is in the final stages of preparing a draft amendment bill to extend the period of maternity leave of working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and will soon send it for inter-ministerial consultations.

“Labour Ministry is giving final touches to the draft amendment bill to extend maternity leave benefits. It will be soon sent for inter ministerial consultations, post which it will be sent to the Law Ministry for vetting and then to the Cabinet for approval,” a source said.

The government has firmed up plans to increase maternity leave for working women from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

Earlier this month, the labour ministry held a tripartite meeting with trade unions and employers on the draft amendment bill to extend maternity leave benefits to natural, commissioning as well as adopting mothers.

Besides, there are plans to provide 12 weeks of maternity leave to commissioning mothers – who use surrogates to bear a child -as well as for working women adopting a baby, the source added.

As per Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, a working woman is entitled for 12 weeks of maternity leave, out of which six weeks are before the expected date of delivery.

PTI