The India Times reported today that India's parliament passed The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, which, once approved by the president, will allow working mothers up to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave.
The bill would add India to the list of 42 countries where maternity leave exceeds 18 weeks.
Among other benefits included in the bill are:
• A provision mandating that companies with 50 or more employees must allow new mothers access to daycare and breast-feeding facilities either on-site or within a specified distance four times a day.
• 12 weeks leave for women who adopt children three months of age or younger, starting the day that they take physical custody of the child.
• Options to work from home for women in certain professions after the end of the maternity leave.
Women who already have two or more children will receive 12, rather than 26, weeks of maternity leave.
TheHindu.com reports that once passed into law, the bill is expected to benefit 1.8 million women.
Among those countries without any federally mandated maternity leave is the United States of America, although President Donald Trump ran on a platform that included a 6-week leave that would be paid out of unemployment insurance. According to The Washington Post, the 2016 election marked the first in which both major parties' candidates advocated for paid family leave.
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