Maternity Act Yet To Improve Women Labour Force Participation: Report

Maternity Act Yet To Improve Women Labour Force Participation: Report

The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act 2017 is yet to improve women labour force participation, according to a report by composite staffing firm TeamLease Services.


The report titled Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act 2017: Revisiting the impact is a follow up report of The Impact of Maternity Benefits on Business and Employment – 2018.


The findings revealed that out of the 10 sectors reviewed, women participation has dropped in more than five sectors since the implementation of the Act.


As per the earlier research conducted in 2018, seven out of the ten sectors reviewed were expected to show positive momentum in women workforce participation in the medium term (1-4 years) owing to the Act, however, the needle seems to have not moved much.


The latest edition of the report covers the current opinion of corporates compared to the reaction when the Act was amended in 2017, and steps taken by employers for implementing the provisions of the act. The analysis covers around 10 key sectors comprising of aviation, BPO / ITes, Real-estate, e-commerce, education, BFSI, IT, Manufacturing, retail and tourism.


Lack of awareness about the Act, increase in the cost and increased burden on fellow employees are some of the fallouts employers are attributing to the Act. Time spent on domestic duties, social stigma against women in employment and regressive attitude of employers are some of the main reasons cited by women for choosing to stay away from work.


Rituparna Chakraborty, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, TeamLease Services, said, “The Act was a very bold and progressive move towards encouraging female workforce participation. However, India is still among the bottom 10 countries in the world in terms of women’s workforce participation. Women’s LFPR for India stands at 20.52 per cent in FY 2019-20 compared to 20.71 per cent in FY 2018-19. In fact, the participation of women in urban areas wherein more than 55 per cent are salaried is far poorer that rural women who are self-employed indicating the poor response to the Act.”



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