LS takes up maternity benefit bill for debate

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Thursday took up for discussion a bill to increase the maternity leave of women to 26 weeks from the present 12 weeks.

"Wellbeing of women during pregnancy has been a matter of serious concern," Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said while tabling the bill in the lower house. 

The bill will lead to the ratification of the International Labour Organisation convention No. 183 that provides for 14 weeks of maternity benefit to women.

It also facilitates 'work from home' for nursing mothers once the leave period ends and has made creche facility mandatory in respect of establishments with 50 or more employees.

Employers will have to allow women to go to the creche four times, which will also include her rest period.