Story Unspoken: An Analysis of Maternity Benefits Amendment Act, 2017 and Its Implications on the Modern Industrial Discourse
Christ University Law Journal 2019, Vol. 8, No.2, 63-84
16 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2019 Last revised: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: February 5, 2019
The developing societies have changed considerably in the past decade. In this decadal growth which has positively affected the economic and social structures in place, women have played a considerable role. One cannot overlook the contribution of women in building up the skilled labour workforce in the country even though the statistics show a massively skewed gender ratio in the labour workforce. Developing societies need to comprehend this crucial role and provide leverage to integrate the gender-centric role of women with that of men. In furtherance of this objective, the concept of social justice has evolved in recent times. This concept has emanated from the judicial interpretation of legislation which is enacted to serve communities in need of support and care. One such forward-thinking legislation for the labour industry is the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 (along with its recent amendment of 2017) which is borne out of the fact that the women in labour workforce are in need of protection in delicate situations like pregnancy so that they are not harassed in the name of work commitments. To complement such laws, the judiciary has played an equally important role and judgments in cases like B. Shah v. Labour Court, Combaitore show this role in an effective manner but still a lot of lacunas and complications remains. To achieve a holistic development and improve upon these skewed statistics, there is a need to identify the mitigating factors in the objective of achieving social equality for women. This research paper is an endeavour to study upon these changing landscapes of women empowerment in the country through the lens of judicial interpretations and an analytical study of the amended legislation of 2017.
Keywords: Labor, Social Justice, Women, Legislations, Development
JEL Classification: K31
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