Monday, 3 April 2017

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 is now Law

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 received the assent of the President of India on 27th March, 2017 and has been published in the Official Gazette.

To see the Gazette Notification please click on the following link:

Is this law applicable to charitable institutions?
Yes, this law is also applicable to charitable organisations / NGOs registered under the Shops & Establishments Act and employing ten or more employees.

Date of Commencement:
·       It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
·       Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision


1) Increase in the duration of maternity leave to 26 weeks:
 ·       The Amended Law has increases the maternity leave benefit to a period of 26 weeks.
·       The maternity benefit should not be availed before eight weeks from the date of expected delivery.
·       Prior to this, woman were entitled to maternity leave benefit of 12 weeks only of which not more than six weeks should precede the date of her expected delivery.
·       For a woman who has two or more surviving children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before six weeks from the date of the expected delivery.

2) Maternity leave of 12 weeks for mother/s who are adopting or commissioning mothers:
 ·       For the first time, the role of a “commissioning mother” has been recognized and defined.
·       A commissioning mother means: “a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman”. Prior to this, the Act did not recognize the role of a commissioning mother.
·       This benefit has been introduced for the first time for adopting and commissioning mother/s.
·       Even a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of 3 months or a commissioning mother will be entitled to maternity benefit for a period of 12 weeks.
·       The 12-week period of maternity benefit will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adopting or commissioning mother.

3) Option to work from home:
 ·       After availing the maternity leave benefit, an employer may allow a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned to her is such that she may work from home.
·       The terms, conditions and duration for the ‘work from home’ arrangement would be according to mutual agreement between the employer and the woman.

4. Crèche facility:
 ·       Upon having 50 or more employees, every establishment is required to have the facility of crèche within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities.
·       The employer is required to allow four visits a day to the crèche by the woman, which will also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

5. Awareness about maternity benefits:
 ·       Every establishment is required to intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment regarding every benefit available under the Act.

Any further queries maybe addressed to

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