Rajya Sabha passes Maternity Benefits Amendment Bill

February 27th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha Wednesday passed the Maternity Benefits Amendment Bill, 2007, by a voice vote that will enable women working in factories, shops and plantations to get more maternity benefits. The bill was passed by a voice vote even as MPs from the opposition parties were raising slogans in the Upper House on alleged government apathy towards the plight of farmers in different parts of the country.

The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill and it will now be sent to President Pratibha Patil for her assent.

Under the new law, the medical bonus paid to women as maternity benefit will be increased to Rs.1,000 from Rs.250 if no pre-natal confinement and post-natal care is provided by the employer free of charge.

The bill also empowers the central government to enhance this benefit further up every three years to a maximum of Rs.20,000.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 regulates the employment of women in factories, mines, the circus industry, plantations and shops or establishments employing 10 or more people except employees who are covered under Employees’ State Insurance (ESI).

It stipulates the maternity and other benefits for women for certain periods before and after childbirth.

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