The Maternity Benefits Act requires employers to provide nursing breaks of prescribed duration for new mothers in order express breast milk for nursing child. These nursing breaks are fully paid and are available until a child reaches the age of 15 months. The duration of these prescribed breaks is not provided under the Act.

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, passed by the Rajya Sabha in August 2016, has also been passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017. Under the new Law, every establishment having fifty or more employees must provide the facility of creche within such distance as proposed either separately or along with common facilities. A woman worker will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day.

Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has issued Crèche Guidelines in November 2018. In line with the guidelines, following are the salient points: 

  1. One creche for every 30 children between the age 6 months to 6 years of all types of employees;
  2. The creche must be located at the workplace or within 500 meters of the establishment;
  3. Employers are required to employ one creche worker along with a helper for every 10 children under the age of 3 years and for every 20 children between the age group of 3-6 years. 

Source: §11 & 11A of the Maternity Benefits Act 1961, amended in 2017