MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961

 

Object of the Act

To protect the dignity of motherhood and to provide certain benefits to women employees at the time of child-birth.

 

Coverage of the Act

Upon all women employees either employed directly or through contractor employed in mines, factories, plantations and also in other establishments if the State Government so decides. Also applicable to every shop or establishment in which ten or more persons are employed.

 

Conditions for eligibility of benefits

Women indulging temporary of unmarried are eligible for maternity benefit when she is expecting a child and has worked for her employer for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately proceeding the date of her expected delivery.

 

This Act shall not be applicable when and where ESI Act is applicable.

 

Benefits

• Leave with average pay for six weeks before the delivery.

• Leave with average pay for six weeks after the delivery.

• A medical bonus of Rs.3500/- if the employer does not provide free medical care to the woman.

• An additional leave with pay up to one month if the woman shows proof of illness due to the pregnancy, delivery, miscarriage, or premature birth.

• In case of miscarriage, six weeks leave with average pay from the date of miscarriage.

 

Non Cash Benefits/Privilege

• Light work for ten weeks (six weeks plus one month) before the date of her expected delivery, if she asks for it.

• Two nursing breaks in the course of her daily work until the child is 15 months old.

• No discharge or dismissal while she is on maternity leave.

• No change to her disadvantage in any of the conditions of her employment while on maternity leave.

• Pregnant women discharged or dismissed may still claim maternity benefit from the employer.

Exception : Women dismissed for gross misconduct lose their right under the Act for Maternity Benefit


Maintenance of Registers and Records

Every employer shall prepare and maintain such registers, records and musterrolls and in such manner as may be prescribed by Rules.

 

Penal Provision

For breach of provisions of the Act, the employer shall be punishable with imprisonment upto one year and/or fine not exceeding Rs.5,000.