Prime Minister Narendra Modiji himself made the case for women in the workplace. “If the capacity of women is built, and they are linked with the development process, then the development of any country is speeded exponentially,”
But in India, only 27% of female population over 15 years of age are working which is the lowest rate in comparison to other Brics (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) countries (World Bank Study). Only 18-34% of married women continued working after having a child as observed through a survey in Delhi. Motherhood leads to a stagnation in the professional life of a woman since employers see it as a phase hampering work efficiency.
New mothers find work environments and facilities unsuitable to cater to needs of the newborn thereby being forced to either resign or entrust child care to commercial institutions.
But, recently certain provisions made by the Government under the revised Maternity Benefit Act 2013 ensure better working conditions for a new mother.
- Crèche facility Mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees, within such distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities. Woman employee should be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the day, which includes the regular rest interval (Sec 11A(1)
- Provision for working from home- Depending upon the nature of work and if such work can be executed from home, on terms and conditions mutually agreed between the employer and the employee. This is effective from July 01st 2017 onwards. Sec 5(5)
Act is Applicable to ??
- Every Shop or Establishment, Factory, Mine, Plantation or any establishment belonging to Government in which TEN or more persons are employed or were employed, on any day of the preceding twelve months.
- The benefits under the Maternity Benefit Act are available to all female employees, who are not covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act and have worked for a continuous period of 80 Days in twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery
- Every establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian (horse riding), acrobatic and other performances in a State