The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to double the amount of tax-free gratuity from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. The Lok Sabha had approved the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, on March 15, PTI reported.

The bill will enable the government to notify a fresh ceiling for gratuity periodically.

The Centre had in 2017 passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, extending the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks. The gratuity bill, which notifies the period of maternity leave as a part of continuous service, will also allow the government to fix the duration of such leave through executive orders.

Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu told the House that he had met leaders of several parties on Thursday morning, after which it was decided that the bill would be taken up. Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar then tabled the bill. It was passed with a voice vote.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi later tweeted that a “significant pro-people measure” had been passed in Parliament. “It will benefit lakhs of Indians,” he added.

Formal sector employees are eligible for gratuity if they have provided at least five years of continuous service at the time of termination.