The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday, months after the Rajya Sabha approved, entitling paid maternity leave of 26 weeks.
Lauding the amendments to the law on maternity benefits, market experts today said this will lead to better gender diversity and encourage more women to continue in the workforce and have fulfilling careers. According to the amendment the paid maternity leave benefit has been extended to six months.
“This will definitely enable better gender diversity that the industry and workplace has been lacking. While women form nearly 50 per cent of the population their participation in formal employment is a mere 10 per cent or less.
“Further, as the hierarchy rises their representation drops,” IKYA Human Capital Solutions Business Head, Staffing Solutions, Lohit Bhatia said here.
He said, at senior levels and board levels they form only 1 per cent, owing to the challenges a woman faces during and post maternity. “With this amendment many of the challenges faced by women can be addressed, in fact, it can help in bringing down the dropout ratio,” he added.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday, months after the Rajya Sabha approved, entitling paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from the earlier 12 weeks. Kelly Services India Managing Director Thammaiah BN said this is a good initiative by the government and will help increase the gender diversity across the organised sector.
“It will address the issue of employee retention and create a more meaningful, lasting relationship between the employer and the employee. Women will feel more easier to return to work without the conflict of having to make a choice between motherhood and a career,” she said. PayPal Director, Human Resources, Jayanthi Vaidyanathan said this move will encourage more women to have fulfilling careers.