Govt may increase maternity leave in private sector from 12 to 26 weeks

New Delhi, Dec 29: The Narendra Modi government is all set to increase the duration of maternity leaves in the private sector from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks, reports say.

Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said the Ministry of Labour has agreed to increase maternity leave to six-and-a-half months.

According to an Indian Express report, the Ministry of Labour is expected to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which presently entitles women to 12 weeks of maternity benefit whereby employers are liable to pay full wages for the period of leave.

"Our department had asked that the labour ministry take into account that women need to breastfeed for six months after childbirth," the daily quoted Maneka Gandhi as saying.

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