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MATERNITY LEAVE

MATERNITY LEAVE




Carlos Ghosn, president of the Renault-Nissan Alliance once said:

“Hiring and promoting a woman is the right thing for our society and its economic imperatives”.

 

 

WHAT IS MATERNITY LEAVE?

Maternity leave is the holiday a company gives to a female employee for her pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn early care. This holiday is paid, that is, the company will pay money for it.

 

Along with professional life, every working woman also wants to take full pleasure in motherhood. This time is most special for any woman, who is also supported by the World Health Organization. According to the WHO, mental and physical abuse during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, murder and fetal distress in women. Therefore, there is a provision of maternity leave for working women in many countries including India.

 

 

WHAT IS THE MATERNITY BENEFIT AMENDMENT ACT, 2017?



The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act-2017 is an amended form of the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 1961. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on 11 August 2016 and in Lok Sabha on 09 March 2017. This bill was introduced in April 2017 to benefit pregnant women employees.

·        Under this Act, women employees working in factories, mines, shops, government-non-government or other government registered establishments are included.

 

·        Under the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, a firm informs the female employee in writing or electronically about maternity benefit at the time of appointment.

 

·       Under the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017, the duration of maternity leave for women employees has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

 

·       The period of maternity leave will be 12 weeks for women who already have two children and are expecting the next child.

 

·       Maternity leave has been fixed at 12 weeks for women and commissioning mothers adopting children three months or less. (Commissioning mothers are those who receive their child through serogates).

 

·       Under the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017, women can take maternity leave eight weeks before the estimated delivery date and the rest after delivery.

 

·       Under the Act, mothers expecting the next child after two children can start maternity leave 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after delivery.

 

 


WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MATERNITY LEAVE?

Under the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017, this benefit is given to women who have worked as an employee for 80 days in the last one year in the existing company. Payment during the leave period is based on the average daily wage for the period of actual absence.

 



HOW TO APPLY / CLAIM FOR MATERNITY LEAVE?

Maternity Leave can be claimed by following points:-

·        First of all, make sure that when do you want to take maternity leave. Once the leave is decided, you should talk to your department head / manager on this subject. The department head / manager will ask you to contact the HR department of the company or other related department.

 

·        HR or concerned department will explain you all the policies related to maternity leave so that you do not get misunderstood.

 

·        After explaining the maternity leave policy, HR or the concerned department will ask you to fill the maternity leave form. This form can be online as well as offline. You may have to do some formalities in addition to this.

Note: This is a common procedure, which can apply to both government and non-government institutions. A Woman need to consult with department head or manager to confirm the correct procedure.

 




WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PERIOD OF MATERNITY LEAVE?

After completion of maternity leave period, women can take advantage of these provisions under the Act -

·        The Act also provides for a 'work from home' after the end of 26 weeks of maternity leave, in which women can work in the office from home.

 

·        Under this Act, a firm with 50 employees and above will provide women with day care facility in their firm (where children are cared for) and it is mandatory. Under this facility, women can go to day care to see their child four times a day while working.

 



SALARY DURING MATERNITY LEAVE

Under the Maternity Benefit Act 2017, women employees will be paid on daily wages basis during maternity leave. If the woman takes a leave after the completion of the period, the firm may adopt a 'loss of pay' policy, under which no additional leave will be paid.

 

 


WHAT IF SHE(WOMAN) DON'T GO BACK TO WORK AFTER THE MATERNITY LEAVE IS OVER?

This question may bother you that what will happen if she do not go to office after the maternity leave is over? As we mentioned above, the Maternity Benefit Act 2017 gives you Paid Leave for 26 weeks, but if she do not go to office even after the end of this period, then -

·        She can opt for Work from Home, for which she will have to talk to her Head of Department and HR.

 

·        You can apply for additional leave in addition to maternity leave, but it depends on the company whether it will give you paid leave or unpaid. If the company offers sick leave or casual leave etc., it can be paid off.





CAN AN EMPLOYEE/WOMEN BE REMOVED FROM A JOB WHEN PREGNANT?

No, if a company removes its female employee from a job because of being pregnant, the law is illegal. For this, legal action can be taken against the company under the Maternity Benefit Act 2017.

 




HOW TO GET MATERNITY INSURANCE?

It depends on the insurance policy of the company, as many companies do not want to bear this additional financial burden. At the same time, if a company has given the maternity condition in the insurance policy given to the employee, then the delivery and then the expenses on the treatment of mother and baby and medicines are paid under the policy. One can get more information in this regard from HR department.

 

 

 

 


PAYMENT RULES DURING MATERNITY LEAVE IN INDIA

·        The maternity leave is awarded with full pay on completion of at least 80 days in an establishment in the 12 months prior to her expected date of delivery.

 

·        Apart from 26 weeks salary (12 weeks salary for an already mother of 2 children) a female worker is entitled to medical bonus of 3,500 INR.

 

·        Under the National Food Security Act 2013, pregnant and lactating mothers have the right to receive maternity benefit of Rs 6,000. In this Act, which is enacted by the Central Government, every pregnant and lactating mother will have the right to free food during pregnancy and six months after the birth of the child, so that their nutritional needs can be met.

 

Note: Recently, the Central Government is considering that if a mother with more than 2 children becomes a mother for the third time, she will not get the benefit of maternity leave rules. For this, legislation can be brought which will help in population control.






NO MATERNITY BENEFIT TO WORKING WOMAN ON GIVING BIRTH TO THIRD CHILD IN SECOND DELIVERY: MADRAS HIGH COURT

The Madras High Court has ordered that if a working woman has given birth to twins in the first delivery, she will not be entitled to receive maternity benefit (maternity benefit) after the first delivery or third child to the newborn born in the second delivery . The High Court said, according to the rules, the facility of maternity leave can be found in the first two deliveries only. Otherwise, the second delivery will be considered as the third delivery. It is a matter of debate whether this birth will be considered as the second delivery or the third. Their age and the status of being a second elder are also decided by the same period of time which remained between their birth. For this reason, these two deliveries are considered not one '.

Madras High Court Chief Justice AP Shahi and Justice Subromonium Prasad said that this order is pronounced. The bench has reversed the order of single bench given in June 2019. Earlier, the Single Bench had given 180 days leave to a woman working CRPF and asked her to provide facilities as per government rules. In this case, the Ministry of Home Affairs had appealed that the holiday sought by the woman as per the rules of the Tamil Nadu government cannot be granted. She will be given facility under the central services provided by the ministry.

When this matter came before the court, she said that in this case there was a third child in the second delivery, but it cannot be decided like mathematics as written in the rules. The High Court said in its decision that if the woman does not have more than two children, then the facilities available will be limited.

 

 

 


FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR WOMEN ON MATERNITY LEAVE IN INDIA

Pregnant women employees can get maternity benefit (in the form of medical bonus) of Rs 1000. If antenatal care (pre-natal) and post-natal care are provided free of charge by the employer.

This can be increased to a maximum limit of Rs 20,000. The central government authorized to increase the principal amount every three years.

The amount of medical bonus was Rs 2500 in August 2008, which was later increased to Rs 3500 in 2011.






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