New Amendment In Maternity Act

Maternity ActAMENDMENT TO MATERNITY ACT: EXTENDED TIME TO EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE CRECHE
FACILITIES

Maternity law in India recently amended enhancing maternity benefits Establishments having 50 or more employees to provide creche facility. The provisions of the amended maternity law have come into effect from April 1, 2017 Corrigendum clarifying that the provision relating to creche facilities shall come into effect from July 1, 2017.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (“Maternity Act”) has been recently amended vide the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (“Maternity Amendment Act”). Please refer to our legal analysis on the subject at here.

The Gazette Notification
1. Issued by the Indian government specified that the Maternity Amendment Act
would come into effect on such date as the Central Government would by notification in the Official
Gazette appoint.
2. The Maternity Amendment Act also empowered the Central Government to appoint
different effective dates for different provisions of the Maternity Amendment Act.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Labour and Employment (“Labour Ministry”) had issued another
Notification dated March 31, 2017 appointing April 1, 2017 as the effective date of most of the
provisions of the Maternity Amendment Act (“Effective Date Notification”). As per the Effective Date
Notification, the provision relating to employer allowing female employees to work from home after
availing of maternity benefit was to come into effect on July 1, 2017.
The Maternity Amendment Act requires establishments having 50 or more employees to have a
crèche facility within the prescribed distance, either separately or along with other common facilities.
The Maternity Amendment Act however does not provide any clarity on aspects pertaining to the
creche facility including

(a) The structure of the creche facility;

(b) Facilities that need to be provided in the creche;

(c) Age of the children for which such facility needs to be provided;

(d) The distance from the workplace within which the creche facility needs to be provided;

(e) The manner of financing such creche facilities;

(f) Appointment of creche staff etc., making it challenging for employers to comply
with the provision. The Effective Date Notification led to some confusion amongst employers in the absence of additional guidance on creche facility. In view of the above, the Labour Ministry has issued a Corrigendum dated April 3, 2017 clarifying that the provision relating to crèche facilities will come into effect from July 1, 2017. It is to be noted that the remainder of the provisions of the Maternity Amendment Act including the provision on work from home have become effective as on April 1, 2017. This clarification will allow the government additional time to specify the conditions in relation to creche facility and in the interim permit employers to arrange for such facilities.

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