The New Maternity Law Could Mean Bad News For Women. What???
There’s a law that’s been introduced for maternity leave that we are all excited about. Given that a lot of women face hiccups in their careers when they are in the family way, this maternity law (on paper, at least) looked like it could marginally improve things. However, that tiny ray of sunshine comes with a cloudburst as well. Sigh.
The new law entitles women working in the organised sector to 26 weeks paid maternity leave. This was previously at 12 weeks. In theory, this sounds fantastic. Turns out, though, that instead of encouraging women to work and return to work after having a baby, this might have the exact opposite effect.
In a survey conducted about the law, large companies showed willingness to encourage this measure, but for small and medium-sized companies, the costs would be too high to justify the investment.
This would mean that women would actually lose jobs. An estimated 1.1 million to 1.8 million women will lose their jobs across 10 sectors in the financial year to March 2019 because of the law, the survey showed. This is alarming considering that the law, while progressive, would reduce the percentage of women in the workforce from 36 percent a decade ago to just 24 percent.
Okay, how did something so exciting become such a bummer?