Employers are people appointed by the government or the local authorities to supervise and control the employees of an organization. These employers have ultimate control over the establishment. 1 If no person is appointed as the employer, then the head of the department or the chief executive officer of the local authority will be considered to be the employer. People such as managers and managing directors are also considered to be employers in certain situations.
Duties of employers
Employers have the following duties:
- At the time of joining the employment, employers have to inform women about every maternity benefit available under the Maternity Benefit Act and within the organization. 2
- The employer cannot knowingly employ a woman during the 6 weeks following the date of her delivery, abortion or miscarriage. 3
- The maternity leave starts 6 weeks before the delivery date of the woman. However, if she requests, it can start one month before this period. During this period, the employer cannot give her arduous work, including any work that requires hours of standing or work that can negatively affect her health. 4
- Employers cannot dismiss women from their job during the maternity leave period.
- Employers cannot deny payment of the maternity benefit to a woman eligible for such a benefit.
Punishments for Employers
Dismissal or non-payment of benefit
If an employer does not pay you the maternity benefit amount or dismisses you during your maternity leave, then he can be punished with imprisonment for up to one year and with a fine of up to five thousand rupees. 5
Punishment for any other violation
If your employer violates the law (The Maternity Benefit Act), then the punishment is imprisonment of up to one year, and/or a fine of up to five thousand rupees.
If you are facing trouble while seeking the benefit or for any other maternity-related reason, you have a right to file a complaint. Read more here.1
- Section 3(d), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
- The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, Section 11(2).
- Section 4(1), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
- Section 4(3) and Section 4(4), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
- Section 21(1), The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
- Section 22, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.