India’s New Maternity Benefit Act

On March 28th, new Maternity Benefits went into effect in India, giving women increased leave and protections. Companies employing women in India should update their policies in accordance with the new regulations. Specifically:

  • For a female employee’s first two children, maternity leave is increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • Women will receive 12 weeks of maternity benefit for each additional child.
  • Women who adopt children are entitled to 12 weeks of leave if the child is less than three months old.
  • Companies with more than 50 employees need to provide child care facilities for their employees. Mothers shall be allowed four visits to the facility during working hours.
  • If the type of work is conducive, employers may allow mothers to work from home.
  • Companies must provide written and electronic documentation of maternity benefits to all women on hiring.

These benefits represent a substantial increase in leave time, and the ability to access on-site, employer provided child care should give much needed support to working mothers.