The Parliament of India has just passed a bill extending nationally mandated paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
The bill, which will reportedly benefit almost two million women in the organized working sector, will apply to all businesses that employ more than 10 workers.
However, the extended paid leave will only apply to the first two children. If a mother gives birth to a third, then the time off is cut back to 12 weeks.
“This is my humble gift to women, a day after the world celebrated the International Women’s Day,” said Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.
Though Parliament members were arguing for similar benefits to be applied to new fathers as well, certain paid paternity leave policies either already exist at a state level, or are currently under negotiation.
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