In 2016, The Maternity Benefits Bill 1961 was amended to increase paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. But this applies only to the organised sector as was the original bill. This gap was pointed out in a Parliamentary Standing Committee report in 2007 which suggested that the existing law should be universally applicable until the government is able to bring in a separate law to cover women in the unorganised sector.
This suggestion was not considered in the recent amendment and hence benefits only a small proportion of women while majority are employed in the unorganised sector.
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