Pregnancy is a special moment for all mothers-to-be. And this is one time when she needs to take best care of herself so that she can give birth to a healthy and robust baby. Most importantly, all this needs to be done under the supervision of a medical expert. It is normally advised that the mothers-to-be stay at home during this entire duration in order to take premium care of them. Yet, many professional women and employees choose to work throughout the first half.
Now for this there is something called the Maternity Leave Law in India that all working mothers-to-be should be aware of. The correct name by which this law is referred is the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. It was passed by the Central Government in 1961 and pertains to the whole of India. In other words, the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 is applicable to every institution under the government, be it industrial, commercial or agricultural. It is important for all women to know about it because it provides for certain benefits to her during her pregnancy.
The maternity leave right in India stipulates that a woman cannot be dismissed from her job just because she is expecting. Also this policy provides that all working mothers-to-be are entitled to a maternity leave period of 12 weeks from her office. While the first six weeks of maternity leave is to be taken before delivery, the remaining six weeks of leave will be granted immediately after the child is born. A woman can also ask for light work before she goes off on leave.
Moreover, the maternity leave right in India specifies that the employer cannot deduct her salary under such circumstances. At the same time, the maternity benefits permitted under the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 can only be withdrawn if the employee joins some other organization during this time. Generally a lot of women do not stop working soon after coming to know of their pregnancy. Maternity leave law in India is really helpful to those women who cannot risk leaving their jobs in order to support their family.
Very recently, a modification was suggested in the Maternity Benefits Act of 1961. According to this new proposal, the maternity leave will be extended from the present three months to six months. This decision is sure to evoke a mixed reaction from the public. Some women may welcome it and some may feel it will hamper their professional career. This suggestion was given in lieu of the fact that a baby needs to be nursed by the mother for a minimum of six months. Now, one has to wait and watch whether women will take it acceptingly or will it face opposition from corporate world.