Surrogate mothers likely to get maternity leave benefit

New Delhi: The government is working on a proposal to provide maternity leave benefit to surrogate mothers as well as those adopting a child.

Moreover, the proposal will look to amend the Maternity Benefit Act to double the leave benefit to 24 weeks from the existing 12 weeks, sources said.

“The Labour Ministry has called for a tripartite meeting tomorrow of employers, employees and government officials for discussing the draft amendment bill for extending maternity leave benefit to surrogate mothers, women adopting child and for doubling the leave,” a source said.

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

The meet will also take up the issue of amendments to the Employees Compensation Act.

“One of issues to be discussed is the maximum amount of compensation that can be referred to the High Courts,” sources said.

The government has proposed the maximum amount at Rs 3,000 while the unions say that authorities should have the power to deal with cases where the amount of compensation is up to Rs 10,000, they added.

The Act provides for the payment by certain classes of employers to their employees compensation for injury by accident.

These proposals are part of the Labour Ministry’s plan to simplify and improve the social security laws and eventually combine those to make a comprehensive code on social security.

This code on social security will also have other related laws such as Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous provisions Act 1952 and the Employees State Insurance Act 1948.