Maternity law in India recently amended
enhancing maternity benefits
Establishments having 50 or more employees to
provide crèche facility
The provisions of the amended maternity law
have come into effect from April 1, 2017
Corrigendum clarifying that the provision
relating to crèche 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
The Gazette Notification1 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 appoint2. 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 crèche facility
including (a) the structure of the crèche facility; (b)
facilities that need to be provided in the crèche; (c) age
of the children for which such facility needs to be provided; (d)
the distance from the workplace within which the crèche
facility needs to be provided; (e) the manner of financing such
crèche facilities; (f) appointment of crèche 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
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 crèche facility and in
the interim, permit employers to arrange for such facilities.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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