Congratulations, ladies! Lok Sabha finally passes 6 months maternity leave

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The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother

There is good news for expecting mums working in the organised sector.

The Lok Sabha has approved the Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016, which will now allow women to avail maternity leave of upto 26 weeks, as opposed to the earlier 12 weeks. This means that it's now a law and will have to be implemented by corporate companies at all cost.

This news was shared by the Ministry of Women and Child Development's Maneka Gandhi who called it “a momentous step.” She even thanked her colleagues and everybody who supported the bill and promised that WCD would continue to work for the benefit of women and children.

The ministry also stated that it was a "historic day" for women in India with a Tweet that has now gone viral.

This tweet was followed by a series of Twitter announcements that highlighted all the features of the new and 'improved' maternity bill. Interestingly, it also has provision for women who are keen to adopt.

The bill also instructs establishments or companies with more than 50 employees to provide a creche facility, a facility most mothers would be happy to avail.

Apart from this what expecting mums need to also know is that this new law will be applicable to all the organisations that employ 10 or more persons and this provision will apply only for the first two children.

This historic bill was moved by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in Lok Sabha just two days after International Women's day in the lower house. Remember that the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha and then moved to Lok Sabha, making it a law.

After the bill was cleared he reportedly stated, "This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day.”

This bill has placed India in the third position as far as maternity leave is concerned. While Canada has 50 weeks paid maternity leave, Norway allows 44 weeks paid maternity leave.

What remains to be seen is its proper implementation and execution by companies.

Read: 9 questions to ask your HR before applying for maternity leave

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[All images courtesy: Dreamstime]

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