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|1||What is the purpose of the Maternity Benefit Act?
The Maternity Benefit Act aims to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain periods before and after child-birth and to provide for maternity benefits including maternity leave, wages, bonus, nursing breaks etc.
|2||To which establishments is the Act applicable?
The Maternity Benefit Act extends to whole of India and is applicable to every factory, mine or plantation including those belonging to Government, irrespective of the number of employees, and to every shop or establishment wherein 10 or more persons are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.
The State Government may extend the Act to any other establishment or class of establishments, industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise.
The Act however does not apply to any such factory or other establishment to which the provisions of the ESI Act are applicable for the time being.But where the Factory is governed under ESI and the woman employee is not qualified to claim maternity benefit under section 50 of that Act because her wages are >Rs 15000 p.m as specified u/s 2(9) of the ESI or for any other reason, then such woman employee is entitled to claim maternity benefit under this act till she becomes qualified to claim maternity benefit under the ESI.Act.
|3||Which employees are entitled to receive Maternity Benefit ?
This act is applicable to woman employees who are employed whether on regular employment or on casual basis. Woman employees are defined as 'A woman employed, whether directly or through any agency, for wages in any establishment'.
Every woman employee who has worked in the establishment for a period of at least 80 days in the 12 months preceding date of expected delivery is entitled to receive Maternity Benefit. Days of paid leave/lay off are included in the 80 days.
|4||What are the restrictions on work for Pregnant Women ?
a) is allowed to work in an establishment during the six weeks immediately following the day of her delivery, miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy
b) Is required to perform strenuous activity or work which can interfere with her pregnancy or her health during
i) the month preceding the period of six weeks before the expected date of delivery
ii) Any time during the six weeks prior to the expected date of delivery for which the employee does not avail of maternity leave
|5||Can you change service conditions or terminate employment during maternity leave ?
No woman employee, during or on account of her absence form work on maternity leave availed under the act, can be
a) discharged or dismissed
b) issued a notice of dismissal or discharge on such a day that the notice may expire during such absence
c) faced with changed service conditions to her disadvantage.
If an employee is discharged/dismissed for other reasons, then the employee is entitled to receive the maternity benefit and medical bonus under the act except if dismissed for a gross misconduct
|6||What are the maternity benefits a woman is entitled to?
On receipt of a notice from an employee under the Maternity Act, if the employee has worked in the establishment for at least 80 days in the twelve months preceding the expected date of delivery,
a) provide the employee maternity leave at her request of upto 12 weeks of which not more than six weeks shall precede the expected date of delivery
b) pay the employee in advance the amount of maternity benefit for the period preceding the expected date of delivery on production of proof of pregnancy
c) on receipt of proof of delivery, pay the maternity benefit due for the subsequent maternity period within 48 hours
d) Pay the employee a medical bonus if pre natal confinement and post natal care is not provided free by the employer.
If a notice is not received from the employee, arrange for payment of maternity benefit to the employee in any case.
|7||Is a woman entitled to any leave in case of illness arising out of pregnancy delivery?
A woman is entitled to leave with wages up to maximum one month for illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, pre-mature birth or miscarriage..
|8||Is a woman entitled to leave with wages for miscarriage?
In case of miscarriage a woman is entitled to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a period of 6 weeks immediately following the date of miscarriage.
|9||What is the entitlement of a woman in case of MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy)?
In case of MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) a woman is entitled to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a period of 6 weeks immediately following the date of MTP.
|10||Is it necessary for a woman to work for 80 days in the preceeding 12 months to claim benefit in case of MTP or miscarriage?
No, there is no such condition laid out for a woman to claim benefit in case of MTP or miscarriage.
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