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30 Dec 2015

Suryatapa Bhattacharya, Wall Street Journal

India Considers Extending Maternity Leave to Eight Months

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The Indian government is considering ratcheting up the length of paid maternity leave to eight months in a move to combat the country’s chronic malnutrition problems. The Ministry of Women & Child Development wants to increase the minimum required leave for female employees from the current three months at private companies and six months at government offices. It has sent its proposal to the cabinet. If the cabinet approves it, then it will amend the country’s maternity benefit act and other regulations to include the longer leave.The ministry has decided that eight months of leave is needed to allow women enough time to breastfeed their children for the first six months of their lives, a crucial time for development.