A woman can avail up to 26 weeks of maternity leave in India. Out of the 26 weeks, up to eight weeks can be claimed before delivery. However, the woman can take the entire 26 weeks of leave after the delivery. If the woman has more than two surviving children, the maternity benefit is for 12 weeks only out of which 6 weeks can be claimed before delivery.
Adoptive mothers (adopting children under 3 months old) and commissioning mothers are also entitled to 12 weeks of leave from the date the mother gives birth to the child. 1)
Women undergoing a tubectomy operation (a medical procedure to stop future pregnancies) also get a paid leave of two weeks following the operation. In case of a miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, the law permits women six weeks’ leave after the procedure. In case of illness after delivery, premature birth, miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy, or tubectomy, a woman can claim an additional leave with wages for a further period of one month, over and above what is allowed.
Only women who have worked in the establishment for at least 80 days in the past 12 months are entitled to avail maternity leave. 2) If the employer denies the maternity leave or dismisses the employee, the employee can file a complaint against the employer in the labour court. The employer can be punished up to 3 months or be fined upto 5000 rs or both for denying a rightful claim of maternity leave of an employee. There is no provision in law for penalising a woman who resigns during or after completion of her maternity leave. 3)
- Section 5, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (No. 53 of 1961
- Section 5(2), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (No. 53 of 1961
- The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (No. 53 of 1961
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