Mar 11, 2017 06:28 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Shaw says 26-week maternity leave may not be sustainable for cos

The passage of the 'Maternity Bill' has given the Indian women a reason to cheer. However, Biocon Chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is of the opinion that the 26-week leave will not be sustainable for companies. She said that there is a need to re-look into the 26-week clause and that the Bill must provide for more flexibility.

Women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as Parliament Thursday passed a bill in this regard that will benefit about 1.8 million women.

However, Biocon Chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is of the opinion that the 26-week leave will not be sustainable for companies. She said that there is a need to re-look into the 26-week clause and that the Bill must provide for more flexibility.

The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for only up to first two children. For third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Shaw said that an OECD report links negative selection with maternity leave in developing nations. She suggested that women should be allowed to take 26 Weeks of maternity leave in batches.

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her full paid absence from work, to take care for her child.

Indian entrepreneur Sairee Chahal said it is a fantastic move from a women's point of view but said that the law needs to also focus on concepts like paternity leave and shared leave.

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