New Delhi Aug 13 (ANI
): FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) has welcomed the passing of the Maternity Benefit Bill 2016, an amendment to the original Bill of 1961.
The new bill aims to increase maternity leave for working women from 12 to 26 weeks along with twelve weeks of maternity leave to "commissioning and adopting" mothers with an option of work-from-home for nursing mothers.
"FICCI ladies Organisation (FLO) as a 33 year old Business Chamber, working towards women empowerment in India, FLO has always been reiterating on the need of looking at maternity benefits as a tool for attracting and retaining women in the work force," said Vinita Bimbhet, president, FLO.
"A recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute points out that India's 2025 GDP can increase from 16 percent to 60 percent by simply increasing female workforce participation by giving them same opportunities as men. Members of FLO
believe in creating an environment that is conducive to the personal and professional growth of all employees. Whether it is safety in the work place or realistic maternity leave and benefits or flexible working hours and most importantly existence of quality creches," she added.
"This initiative would be a good step towards finding solutions to retain female employees and simultaneously it would also be a strengthening move towards increased return to work post-maternity and greater employee retention in the long run. This will finally pave the way to create more inclusive work environment and promote gender diversity in workplace," she further said.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them to a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave period to 26 weeks in all establishments, including private sector. (ANI