Clearifications on Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 – Ministry of Labour & Employement


The Act is applicable to all women who are employed in any capacity
directly or through any agency i.e. either on Contractual as Consultant.

No. S-36012/03/2015-SS-I
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment
Shram Shakti Bhawan, Rafi Marg,
New Delhi, dated 12th April, 2017.
The Labour Department,
All States/Union Territories 
Sub: The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 – reg. 
In line with recommendations of the 44th, 45th &
46th Session of Indian Labour Conference (IILC) and demands from
various quarters, the Government has recently enacted the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Act, 2017. Through this Amendment Act, following provisions
have been added to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961:- 
  • Increase in the maternity leave from existing 12 to 26 weeks for working
    women with less than two surviving children.  

  • Provisions for work from home for nursing mothers. 

  • Mandatory provisions for establishments having fifty or more employees to
    have the facility of creche. 
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  • Extension of twelve weeks of maternity benefit to the ‘commissioning
    mother’ and the ‘adopting mother’ from the date the child is handed over. 
Provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force w.e.f. 1st
April, 2017, except those relating to creche facility {Section 4(1)} which
would come into force form 01.07.2017. 
2. after the enactment of the said Act, the Ministry has been receiving
numerous queries relating the revised provisions of the Act. The ministry
has examined such queries in consultation with Chief Labour Commissioner
(Central) and the same are clarified as below:- 
S No. Query Clarification
1. Applicability of the Act to contractual or consultant women
Since there is no amendment in Sec. 2 of the Act, hence the
original provision will prevail.

The Act is applicable to all women who are employed in any
capacity directly or through any agency i.e. either on
contractual or as consultant.
2. Whether enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to
women who are already under maternity leave at the time of
enforcement of this Amendment Act?
3. Whether enhance maternity benefit can be extended to those
women who have joined after availing 12 weeks of the
maternity leave?
Those women employee who had already availed 12 weeks of
maternity leave before enforcement of the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Act, 2017 i.e. 1st April 2017, shall
not be entitled to availed the extended benefit of the 26
weeks leave.
4. Protection of women in case she is fired by the employer
after learning her pregnancy?
Under Section 12 of the M.B.Act, 1961 it is emphasized that
any dismissal or discharge of a women during the pregnancy
is unlawful and such employer can be punished under Section
21 of the Act.
5. Whether benefits of this Act can be extended to the
employed women in the unorganized Sector
The Maternity Benefit Act is applicable to all mines,
plantations, shops and establishments anf factories. Mines,
plantations, shop and establishments could be either in
organized sector of unorganized sector. Also, clarification
at Sl.No. 1 may be seen.
3. it is requested that these clarification may be noted for compliance and
also circulated widely so as to make the pregnant working women aware of
their rights. 
Yours faithfully
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(H. L. Meena)
Director (SS)
Copy to:
1. Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), M/o Labour & Employment, New
2. Website of the Ministry of Labour & Employment
3. Media Cell, Ministry of Labour & Employment.