The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which will now allow new mothers 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, PTI reported. Women were earlier allowed 12 weeks of maternity leave. The amendment is likely to help around 1.8 million women working in the organised sector.

For the first time, those adopting a newborn and mothers who have babies through surrogacy will also be entitled to three months paid maternity leave. Besides this, the amendment made the provision of crèches mandatory for establishments that have 50 or more employees. According to The Hindu, the proposed amendment also “facilitates work from home”.

The Bill is applicable in all establishments that have more than 10 employees.