Executing Maternal Benefits for a Productive Society
India is one of the few countries where women’s participation in the workforce has actually fallen —
The International Labour Organization reported last year that female participation declined from 34.1% in 1999-00 to 27.2% in 2011-12. A survey by the leading industry body, ASSOCHAM suggests that up to 25% of female employees give up their career post child birth. Additional maternity benefits like crèche facility, work from home, etc. in addition to the extended paid maternity leaves may see demonstrable results in the form of greater number of female employees returning to work post maternity and greater employee retention over a period of time. According to ProEves survey on “Managing Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017 Report” suggests that 63% women leave their job due to childcare responsibilities. Additionally, the survey also suggests that 75% women want daycare in the office or a tie-up between office and a daycare.
The move towards gender equality and productive society: Maternity leave is very important for the health of the new-born baby because it enables the working woman to exclusively breast-feed her child for six months after birth, which is recommended by the World Health Organization. It is important to understand the socio economic benefits of maternity leaves. Benefits of maternity leave, particularly for the new mother and child, are well documented. Data from around the globe shows that access to maternity leave reduces the risk of infant mortality, and improves breastfeeding rates and duration which has a positive bearing on the child’s physical and mental health. On the economic front; women workers who have access to maternity leave are more likely to return to the workforce, allowing their firms to not just retain but also attract the best talent. Moreover, the cost incurred by employers in the process is measured to be insignificant compared to the socio economic benefits.
The Mandate and Compliance Requirements:
The Maternity Amendment Act 2017 is a welcome step taken by the Indian government enabling women to combine their professional and individual roles successfully and to promote equal opportunities and treatment in employment and occupation, without prejudice to health or economic security. Motherhood should not put an end to a woman's dream of economic independence. To reinforce this, government has guaranteed to protect the rights of women employees in private and governmental organisations by allowing them the space and time to bond with their child, preserving their dignity of motherhood as well as safeguarding the mother and child's health. However, it is important to understand the constitutional basis and reasons for the enactment of the Act and application to the context of contemporary workforce norms and current societal trends. In a working woman’s appointment letter, the establishment has to keep her informed of these facilities that will be available for her as per the provisions of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2016.
We strongly believe in gender equality and equipping women, individuals, professionals, employers and society
with the necessary awareness about the maternity benefits Act and related aspects. We provide both online and face to face trainings through a tailor made orientation module, with the following objectives:
Orient employers, women employees, institutions, etc. to create gender friendly environment for working women
Orient institutions, organisations and others to be compliant with the rules of Maternity Benefit Act
Orient people to understand basics of socio economic aspects and benefits of Maternity leaves and establishment of Crèches.
Come forward to make your workplace women friendly by promoting safe motherhood, childhood and abiding with legal compliances of the country.
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