A child holds a big puppet outside his house in the Kathputhli Colony (Puppeteers' Colony) in New Delhi

Subhendu Sarkar / LightRocket / Getty Images

A child holds a big puppet outside his house in the Kathputhli Colony (Puppeteers’ Colony) in New Delhi

Additional benefits include day care facilities — commonly called creches in India — for working mothers, a non-discriminatory performance appraisal system that acknowledges the female employee’s absence, and work from home policies .

It’s not yet clear when the law will be effective, but it’s already seen as a huge win for Modi’s reform-minded administration.

“India now surpasses many European and Asian countries in terms of maternity benefits being provided to working mothers,” Nishith Desai Associates, an Indian law firm, said in a recent note.

When it comes to paid leave, New Delhi is indeed ahead of most — excluding the U.K. who offers 39 weeks. The U.S. has zero, Canadaprovides up to 17 weeks, Francedoles out 16 weeks, while Germanyand Japanboth offer 14 weeks, according to the OECD. The average figure among OECD members is 17.7 weeks.

Despite the many positives for Indian females and employers, including greater job security and expectations for higher employee retention, there are equally significant disadvantages.

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