Maternity Benefit Act- A welcome change!!!
The new Maternity Benefit Act would help to curb the women workforce dropout of organizations. This brings a welcome change to all the new mothers who truly want to work after having a kid.
Lets discuss first what this Act talks about.
1)26 weeks of paid maternity leave instead of 12 weeks
2)Provision of work from home for 12 weeks for nursing mothers
3)Organizations should have creche facility within 500ms of distance from office
It is observed that only 26% of women return to work after maternity leave. 12 weeks of leave was very small as you cannot leave a baby at such age and pursue your career. Adding to it absence of quality child care, held back new mothers from rejoining work. Around 29% of the women workforce who join at entry level at any organization, drop out sharply when they reach middle management level and almost negligible stay when it comes to CEO level.
Lets take a case study of an expecting mother who is working in an organization, the year when she is about to go on maternity leave, she is not taken seriously by her peers. If the organization is giving you a sufficient period of Loss of Pay leaves, she chooses to be on a year long leave, that year is wasted in terms of performance. When she rejoins office after maternity leave, that year is wasted in terms of performance. This scenario may vary as per maternity leave's duration or organization you are working but most of the policies fail to bridge this gap and women are thrown back in the race.
If you are talking about women empowerment and more women in top positions of workforce, organizations have to rethink of their policies. This may include, providing quality child care facilities within campus, introducing flexible working hours for nursing mothers and work from home options. As women hold responsibility for raising a child, she ought to be provided with an amicable environment at her workplace.