The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017 regulates paid maternity leave entitlement and other related benefits for women employed in factories, mines and shops or commercial establishments. 


Key features of the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017:

  • Increased Paid Maternity Leave: The Act has increased the duration of paid maternity leave available for women employees from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. This benefit could be availed by women for a period extending up to 8 weeks before the expected delivery date and remaining 18 weeks can be availed post childbirth. For women who are expecting a child after already having 2 children, the duration of paid maternity leave shall be 12 weeks (i.e., 6 weeks pre and 6 weeks post expected date of delivery).
  • Maternity leave for adoptive and commissioning mothers: Every woman who adopts a child shall be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, from the date of adoption. The same applies to commissioning mothers in the case of surrogacy.
  • Work from Home option: After the expiry of the 26 weeks' leave period, depending upon the nature of work, women employees may be able to avail this benefit on terms that are mutually agreed with the employer.
  • Crèche facility:This act makes crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees. Women employees would be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the day.
  • Employee awareness: Employers have to educate women about the maternity benefits available to them at the time of their appointment.


How to apply for maternity benefit and payment?

Any woman employed in an establishment as defined by the Act and entitled to maternity benefit may give notice in writing to her employer, stating that her request for maternity benefit and any other amount to which she may be entitled. She should also mention that she will not work in any establishment during the period for which she receives maternity benefit. A woman may also nominate any other known person to get maternity benefit and payment.


Where can you make a complaint?

If any woman doesn’t receive the maternity benefit leaves and payment by the company or if she has been dismissed during the course of pregnancy then she can registered a complaint with the authorized Police Officer.


Read the full text of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 


Read the full text of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961