Fired during Maternity Leave

Last updated on Jun 22, 2022

You cannot be dismissed or fired by your employer during or due to your maternity leave. 1 Keep in mind:

  • During your maternity leave, your employer cannot change your condition of work to your disadvantage. For example, your employer cannot demote you at work just because you took maternity leave.
  • If you are fired or dismissed during your pregnancy, you are eligible to receive maternity benefit or medical bonus.
  • Your employer cannot cut your salary based on the fact that you requested and did non-strenuous work during your pregnancy. Even for reasons such as taking nursing breaks, your employer cannot cut your salary. 2

You can only be dismissed or dis-entitled to your maternity benefit in cases of gross misconduct. 3 Gross misconduct means deliberately destroying an  employers’ property, assaulting other employees, fraud concerning the employers’ work, etc. 4

  1. Section 12(1), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.[]
  2. Section 13(b), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.[]
  3. Proviso, Section 12(2)(a), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.[]
  4. Section 8.The Maternity Benefit (Mines and Circus) Rules, 1963[]

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Related Resources

How to claim Maternity Benefits?

The employer must pay you your maternity benefit before your delivery. Give your employer a written notice of the same.

Responsibility of Employers

At the time of joining the employment, employers have to inform women about maternity benefit available in the organization.

Who can seek Maternity Benefits?

Maternity benefits can be sought by expectant mothers, adoptive mothers as well as those recovering from an abortion or tubectomy.

Workplaces with Maternity Benefits

Maternity Benefits under law are applicable to almost all government and private establishments and offices.

Maternity Benefit in case of death of a Woman

An employer has the duty to pay maternity benefit even in case the woman dies as a result of the pregnancy.

Salary during Maternity Leave

Employers have to pay women 'maternity benefit' for the period during which they are absent from work as a result of their pregnancy.