how to avail maternity leave


Good To Know : Maternity Leave Rules in PSU/IT/ITES/Private Sector Companies.

Pavan Manikanta Kumar

September 14th, 2016


Maternity Leave can be defined as the period of absence from work granted to a mother before and after the birth of her child.

In India, there is a law called MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT 1961. It is an Act to regulate the employment of women in a certain establishment for a certain period before and after childbirth and to provide maternity benefits.


What Does Maternity Benefit Act Say ?

1The Act applies to:

  • Every factory, mine or plantation (including those belonging to Private),
  • Every shop or establishment wherein 10 or more persons are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

2Eligibility & Conditions for Claiming Benefits

  • The Act lays down that any women employed is eligible to claim maternity benefits if she is expecting a child and has worked for her employer for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.
  • A woman looking forward to maternity benefits could ask the employer to give her light work for a month. Such request should be made at least 10 weeks before the date of her expected delivery. At that time she needs to produce a certificate confirming her pregnancy.
  • Also , she needs to give a written notice to the employer about 7 weeks before the date of her delivery regarding her absence period pre and post delivery.

3The benefits of Maternity Act :

  • The bill provides 26  weeks leave for commissioning and adopting mothers.
  • Leave with pay.
  • The Medical bonus of at least Rs.1000 extending to Rs.20000 if the employer is unable to provide free medical care to the women employee.
  • Additional leave with pay for up to 1 month on production of proof, revealing illness due to pregnancy, delivery, miscarriage, or premature birth.
  • In case of miscarriage, 6 weeks leave with average pay from the date of miscarriage.
  • Light work for 10 weeks before the date of expected pregnancy if she asks for it.
  • Two nursing breaks in the course of her daily work until the child attain age of 15 months.
  • In the case of tubectomy operation leave with wages for 2 weeks.
  • No discharge or dismissal while being on maternity leave.

4The amount of maternity benefit for the period before the date of her expected delivery shall be paid

  • in advance by the employer to the woman on the production of proof, as may be prescribed that the woman is pregnant,
  • and the amount due for the subsequent period shall be paid by the employer to the woman within forty-eight hours of production of such proof.

In Case of Death of a Pregnant Employee , the maternity benefit shall be paid only for the days up to and including the day of death. The employer should pay such benefit or amount to the person nominated by the woman and in case there is no such nominee, then her legal representative.


Offences And Penalties On Employers

As per maternity benefit act, the employer can be punished under, if he/she denies maternity benefits to women employees and that includes imprisonment for three months or fine up to Rs. 5000/- or both. Maternity benefits can be revoked by the organization in case a woman employee changes the job during that period. A working woman also has right to ask for light jobs during pregnancy for eg., jobs that does not require long standing hours or work in a section where hazardous substances are not used as per maternity benefit act.

References :

Disclaimer : *This information is subject to periodic government policy / process change. Kindly contact the concerned department to cross check for recent updates, if any.


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