Government plans to extend paid maternity leave benefit to women in unorganized sector too after the Rajya Sabha passed a bill unanimously to provide for 26 weeks of leave to working mothers in the formal sector.
The government estimates that there are 8-10 crore women, of total workforce of 43 crore in the unorganised sector. The Labour Ministry will be writing to the states for discussing ways to provide this benefit to women working in unorganised sector.
“We are thinking as to how we can extend this benefit to mothers in the unorganised sector,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a press conference here.
Yesterday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that provides for 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, against existing provision of 12 weeks, for two surviving children.
Once approved by the Lok Sabha in the Winter Session of Parliament, due in another three months, it would benefit about 1.8 million women in the organised sector. It will be applicable in organisations where the number of employees is 10 or above.
Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said, “There are about 43 crore workers in the unorganised sector. There could be 8- 10 crore women in that workforce. Labour Ministry will write to states for discussing ways to provide this benefit to them.”
Talking about productivity of the Labour Ministry during the Monsoon session that concluded today, Dattatreya said, “In Rajya Sabha, 14 bills were passed in this session, of which two — Child Labour Bill and Maternity Benefit Bill — were from our ministry.
“In the Lok Sabha, 10 bills were passed, of which three were pushed for passage by Labour Ministry — Child Labour Bill, Employees Compensation Bill and Factories Amendment Bill.”
Asked whether the government will continue with its labour reform agenda including industrial code and small factories bill which were opposed by trade unions, Aggarwal said the ministry remains committed to its agenda of labour reforms.
The ministry has envisaged to compress 44 labour laws into four codes on industrial relations, wages, social security and workers safety & welfare.
Besides, the labour reforms agenda also include small factories Bill which provides exempting units with less than 40 workers from 14 labour laws.
As many as 10 central trade unions have given a call for a one-day nation wide strike on September 2, 2016 to protest against government’s labour reforms and not paying heed to their 12-point charter of demands