The Government of India, in the year 2017, introduced certain beneficial amendments to the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act.
One of those beneficial changes introduced is to enable the nursing mothers work from home.
Where the nature of work assigned is such that the women employee who is a nursing mother, the employer may allow her to do so. The employer and employee may mutually agree to certain terms and conditions to have this work from home arrangement. (Section 5(5) of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017).
Amidst the prevailing COVID 19 pandemic, it is humane and essential to consider the health of nursing mothers and their new-born.
The Government of India, (notification No.S-36012/03/2015-SS-I(Part) dated 01 June 2021) has advised the state governments to take necessary steps creating awareness in their respective state to utilize the maternity benefits.
To bring the true spirit of the maternity benefits to action, the Employers are advised to encourage and allow more nursing mothers to work from home wherever it is possible at least for a period of one (01) year from the date of birth of the child.
It is also recommended that even after the COVID wave, the employer can provide this flexibility of working from home wherever the nature of work allows it.
This is an important supportive step initiated for the nursing mothers of the women workforce in the present scenario. This progressive step will help the nursing mothers to continue their employment without a second thought. Also, this initiative encourages more women to come forward joining various jobs.
A copy of the letter from The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, New Delhi to the Labour Department of all States & UTs is attached.