Women's Economic Participation: Maternity Benefit Bill - A critical analysis - Seeker's Thoughts

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Women's Economic Participation: Maternity Benefit Bill - A critical analysis

Introduction- The Maternity Benefit (Amendment ) Bill, 2016 , brought certain changes, and these changes were ---
Women working in the organised sector will now be entitiled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks. According to law this bill should have benefitted about 1.8 million  working women.
--The bill also provided for maternity leave of 12 week to mothers adopting a child below the age of three months as well as to biological mother.
--It also made it mandatory for every establishment with more than so employee to provide , creche facilities within prescibed distance. woman will be allowed four visits to creche in day . this will include her internal for rest.
--the bill had provision under which an employer can permit a woman to work from home,if the nature of work assigned,permit her to do so.this option can be availed of after the period of maternity leave for a duration that is mutually divided by the employer and the women.

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Critical issues with maternity benefit bill
According to recent report by teamlease based on maternies with 300 employers across 10 sectors found a negative or mixed response from all but the IT and e-commerce companies. In net terms,the report projects some 11 to 18 lakh job losses for women in 2018-19 alone for the 10 sectors studied, and up to 1.2 crore job losses across all sectors.
The job rate in india already low. Educated and young women are needed to join the workforce.
So the increase in Maternity leave did not serve the women. As visible from data, there have been lost in jobs.
What can be done ?
--There should be a comprehensive and gender balanced measures as--- children should not be treated solely as women's responsibility.
--Near about 55 percent countries recognise the father's role give parental leave or paternity leave in varying degrees.
--Matching paternity and maternity leave would create a more level playing field for reduce potential employer discrimination.
-- Companies are less likely to discriminate against women if the government pitches in 2018 ILO report on care work and care joibs emphasises the need for government support up to at least two-third of the cost of maternity benefits, under ILO convention 183.
-- 93.5 percent indian women workers in the informal sector. The act does not apply to them,nor is it clear how it can realistically cover women working on family farms, doing home based work, the urban self employed, or casual workers on contract,there should be mandatory provision for informal sectors's working women.
--The most important measure that would benefit women across all the sectors formal and informal is providing good creche and children centres. and government expansion of high quality children centres has significantly would increase women work participation.