Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa commits to nine month maternity leave for government employees

J Jayalalithaa

Even as the Maternity Benefit ( Amendment) Bill 2016, which mandates 6 months of maternity leave  has been recently cleared by the Rajya Sabha, and now awaits approval of the Lok Sabha, to top that, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa has come up with nine-month maternity leave for its government employees.

This was one of the promises the AIDMK government had made before coming to power and it has fulfilled it.

“In 2011, my government increased the maternity leave from 90 days to six months. Now, the government is increasing the maternity leave from six months to nine months,” chief minister Jayalalithaa said in the assembly, as reported by TOI.

Also read: Sceptical Maneka Gandhi against paternity leave for Indian men

The Maternity Benefit Bill with amendments is still to be passed by the Lok Sabha. Interestingly, the ministry or women and child development had originally suggested eight months’ maternity leave, but after discussions among all the stakeholders including representatives of employers and employees and members of government departments, six months was the amount of leave agreed upon.

Also read: A Dad to Maneka Gandhi: Let’s fix the messaging, paternity leave brings marital equality

The Bill has many other salient features. Such as the fact that it will also offer leaves for those who decide to adopt a child or get a child through surrogate mothers. For both child through surrogacy and adoption, the bill tends to give about 12 weeks of leave. Also, it will also make it mandatory for all companies that have 50 employees or more, or 30 women employees, whichever is lower, to set up crèches for their employees’ children.

Feature Image Credit: BBC

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