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Maternity Benefit Act

 Maternity Benefit Act 1961

This Act helps in protecting the employment of women during her maternity period and provides

them with maternity benefits i.e Women are fully paid in there absence from work, they are mainly

given this benefit so that they can take care of there child and of themselves.

This Act is applied across the country, to each and every establishment whether it is a factory, mine

or plantation belonging to Government and to every place where person are employed for the any

performance like women connected with Horse riding, acrobatic etc, Irrespective of the employees


It is applied to each and every shop in which ten or more persons are employed or were employed

on any day preceding 12 months.

It is also made clear that by giving 2 Months notification State government can add any

establishment under this act after taking permission from Central Government.

This Act is not applied to any factory or other establishment to which the provision of Employee

State Insurance Act ,1948 is applied except women who are not qualified In ESI Act1948 and the

women whose salary exceeds Rs. 21000 and are not been benefited by ESI Act 1948.

About wages: they are provided with all renumeration pair or payable in cash like Cash Allowances

which includes Dearness allowance, house red allowance. Incentive Bonuses are provided.

History of Maternity Act in India:

The first person who made efforts to enact this act in India was N.M Joshi in 1924.

!st Act under this was made in 1929 in Bombay and was called Maternity Benefit Act 1929

It was then followed by Madhya Pradesh in 1930

Then for the 1 st time by Central Government Mines Maternity benefit Act was carried out across the

country in 1941

In 1961 all previous M.B act was removed and only one Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 was carried out,

which was for whole country(India).

There are total of 30 sections in this Act.

Objective of this Act:

It helps in maintaining the employment of women in certain period before and after childbirth

It helps in providing women with Maternity benefits like fully paid maternity leave, Bonuses, Nursing

break etc

It helps in Maintaining of the women and her child when she is on leave.

What are the duties of Employee for Maternity Benefits?

Women must not work less than 80 days in the 12 months preceding the date of her expected


She can ask the employer ten months before the expected delivery to give her light work for a


At that time she needs to produce a certificate which shows that she is pregnant.

She need to give written application to the employer before 7 weeks of the date of delivery that she

would be absent before and after her delivery.

She needs to give the information of the person who will collect the payment if she is not able to

collect herself.

Rate of Payment:

Her rate of Payment would be the average of last 3 months payment preceding the date of her


What happens if Women dies in that Timeframe?

If women dies before delivery then she will get the claim till the day of her death

If women dies during or after delivery but child is safe then the claim would be made for entire


If both Women and Child dies then the claim would be made till the death of her child.

Rs. 3500 is given for medical bonus since December 2011

Payment are provided in two ways:

1 st way is Before delivery, in this women needs to give the proof of pregnancy and collect a payment

in advance.

2 nd way is after delivery, in this women needs to give proof of pregnant withing 48hrs of childbirth.

If women suffers miscarriage then she is given leave of 6 weeks immediately after that day

If women is unwell due to pregnancy than she is given additional leave with pay upto 1 month.

When women returns to work then she is given 4 nursing breaks including her rest interval.

Legal Obligation:

If a women is not provided with maternity benefits or medical bonus or discharge or dismiss she has

a right to appeal within 60 days from the day of deprivation of benefits to the authority prescribed

by law.

Penalty for Employer

If employer fails to pay the amount of maternity benefits or wrongfully discharged then he/she can

get imprisonment for 3 months to 12 months and fine of Rs. 2000- Rs.5000.

Key Highlights of the amendment in 2017:

1.Increase in maternity benefit- Paid maternity benefit has been increased to 26 weeks from 12

weeks,(8 weeks leave is provided prior the expected delivery date and 18 weeks leave is given after

the birth of child)

2. The increased maternity benefit is only provided to first 2 child, maternity benefits are not

available from the 3 rd child. For the 3 rd child she will only get 12 weeks of maternity benefits in which

she can take 6 weeks prior and 6 weeks after the birth of child.

3. Incase of Adoption / Surrogacy- if a women adopts a child whose age is less than 3 months or is a

commissioning mother than she will be provided with 12 weeks of Maternity benefits from the date

the child is handed over to her.

4. Creche Facitlty- it means a nursery where the born child are cared during the working day.this

facility is important in any establishment having more than 50 employees working

5. Nursing Breaks- They are allowed to visit there child 4 times in a working hour including the

interval for rest allowed to her

6. Work from home- women is allowed to work from home after the maternity benefits

-the conditions for working at home are mututally decided between the woman and employer.

7. Prior Intimation- employer are required to provide information to woman at the time of her initial

appointment about every maternity benefit which would be provided to them.


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