Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2016 passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which proposes to include the following changes:
(1) Increase the maximum period of maternity benefit from the existing twelve weeks to twenty-six weeks, in case of women who have less than two surviving children and in other cases, the existing period of twelve weeks maternity benefit shall continue.
(2) To extend the maternity benefits to a “commissioning mother” and “adopting mother” and they shall be entitled to twelve weeks maternity benefit from the date of child is handed over.
(3) To encourage employer to facilitate “work from home” to a mother by inserting an enabling provision.
(4) To make it mandatory in respect of establishment having fifty or more employees, to have the facility of creche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules and also to allow four visits to the creche by the woman daily, including the interval for rest allowed to her.
(5) Every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment about the benefits available.