Maternity Leave Incentive Scheme

What is Important?
From UPSC Perspectives
Prelims :Key facts
Mains:Highlights & Significance

Why in News?

Ministry is working on an incentive scheme wherein 7 weeks’ wages would be reimbursed to employers who hire female workers with wages up to Rs 15,000 and provide the maternity benefit of 26 weeks paid leave.

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017

  • The Maternity Benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child.
  • As per the Act, to be eligible for maternity benefit, a woman must have been working as an employee in an establishment for a period of at least 80 days in the past 12 months.
  • The Act was amended through the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 which, inter alia, has increased the paid maternity leave to women employees from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.


  • In a bid to encourage employers, especially in the private sector, to implement the extended 26-week maternity leave law, the Labour Ministry plans to refund them for seven weeks’ worth of wages for women workers with a wage ceiling up to ₹ 15,000 per month. 
  • The Ministry is in the process of getting budgetary approvals for the ₹400 crore incentive scheme.


  • Ensure the women an equal access to employment and other approved benefits along with adequate safety and secure environment.
  • Women shall continue to bear the major share of household work as well as child care.
  • The work places will be more and more responsive to the family needs of the working women.

Maternity Leave Incentive Scheme Maternity Leave Incentive Scheme Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on November 17, 2018 Rating: 5

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