Everyone welcomed the Amendments to the new Maternity Act with open arms. While the majority of the citizens rejoiced that the government has finally taken a step to protect the health and interest of the newborn child and the mother, few have raised doubts on the execution of the Act.
The Amendment states that the maternity leave will now be 26 weeks – almost about five months. Earlier, women used to get just 12 weeks off. During the maternity leave, the woman employee receives her full pay and other benefits, which is a cost to the company. The said Act has also suggested that such employees should also be given an option of working from home, if feasible. If possible, a creche facility is also to be made available near the office, and the employee should be permitted to have four visits a day to the creche.
To be frank, this Amendment is a need of the time, but in a metropolitan city like Bombay, this looks like a dream or a disaster. In the main Indian cities, where the quality workforce is not an issue but time and productivity are, many companies would most probably ask the pregnant employees to resign and take a maternity break for a couple of years and then resume work, thus reducing the cost of one employee.
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