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Pregnancy is the most beautiful period for any woman. But it is very challenging also as it brings A lot of change both mentally and physically for women. So it is important for Mother need to take special care of herself during these periods, which is important for both mother and baby’s health. As pregnancy brings a lot of joy at the same time, it also brings tension for working women. Working women get concerned about their career, financial independence, plans, and professional life got affected after pregnancy. So our government keeping all this concern in mind provided the opportunity for maternity leave for such women who don’t want to compromise their careers on account of pregnancy.

What is maternity leave?

Maternity leave is the paid leave of absence from work that supports the women employer with the benefits of providing them with enough time to take care of their baby without any financial stress. And after maternity leave, women can rejoin their jobs.

Importance of maternity leave

Maternity leave is important for women due to various reasons.

  1. As the first year after pregnancy is crucial for both baby and mom. So maternal leave allows women to take care of her baby and themselves without any financial stress.

  2. As women are financially stress-free, it will help the women remain psychologically fit. It will also reduce the risk of postpartum depression, which is very common in women after delivery which caused due to stress, feeling of guilt, worry, sadness.

  3. Women on maternal leave can quickly come back after leave and again contribute to company progress as usual. Without affecting her career

Laws for maternity leave

In India government also made some laws for maternity leave. The First maternity leave law was the maternity leave benefit act introduced in 1961; it was amended by parliament in 2017, known as the maternity benefit (amendment ) act 2017.

Changes made under the law after the amendment.

  1. It extended the period of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and parental leave from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.

  2. Women who are pregnant after two children or women who adopt children of less than three months are entitled to 12 weeks of leave.

  3. This law will be applicable for both private and government organizations with more than ten employees in a company.

  4. Women who are eligible for maternity leave have to work for at least 80 days in 12 months for the organization.

  5. After maternity leave gets over, if a woman wants more leave, she has consent with the company’s HR that whether leave will be paid or unpaid after 26 weeks will depend on the organization’s decision. Women can ask for work from the home facility as well if it is suitable according to the nature of the work.

Limitation of maternity law

Law has some limitation which is as follows

1. Government extended the maternity leave period, which puts a lot of burden on other employees of the company. The government has not shared any budget with these organizations to pay women’s salaries under maternity leave. So expenses of their salary are only bearded by employees

2. It affected the employment of women in the company. More women mean more leave; more leave means more burden on employees. So most employers avoid hiring women employers

3. Enforcement of these laws has also increased debate over gender equality. S increase in the maternity leave period increases questions over paternal leave. People argue that the father is also equally responsible for baby care, so the organization should also give the equal duration of paternal leave to the father.

Apart from all the limitations, laws are highly praised by 1.8 million women in the world. By implementing these laws, India provides more benefits to pregnant women than other developing countries; this shows the concern of our country towards women. This type of amendment will help women in India to be more productive and focused on their careers. It will also encourage women to continue their careers even after pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, after which usually women leave their jobs or sacrifice their careers.


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