Maternity Benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. The Act is applicable to all establishments which are factories, mines, plantations, Government establishments, shops and establishments under the relevant applicable legislation, or any other establishment as may be notified by the Central Government.
Short Title and Commencement of Maternity Benefit Act
1. This Act may be called the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
2. It extends to the whole of India.
3. It shall come into force on such date as may be notified in this behalf in the official Gazette.
- In relation to mine and to any other establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances, by the Central Government; and
- In relation to other establishments in a state, by the State government.
Objectives of Maternity Benefit Act
- To regulate the employment of women employees in certain establishments for certain specified periods before and after child birth.
- To provide payment of maternity benefits to women workers at the rate of average daily wages calculated on the basis of the wages payable to her for the days on which she has worked during the three calendar months immediately preceding the date from which she absented herself on account of maternity.
- To provide for certain benefits in case of miscarriage, premature birth, or illness arising out of pregnancy.
- To protect the dignity of motherhood and the dignity of a new person’s birth by providing for full and health maintenance of the women and her child at this important time when she is not working.
Provisions Related to Maternity Benefits [Section]
Conditions for Payment of Maternity Benefit
1. work for not less than 80 days to have been put in: No women shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claim maternity benefit for a period of not less than 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.
2. Maternity Benefit for a Maximum Period for 12 Weeks: The maximum period for which the women shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall be 12 weeks of which not more than 6 weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery.
3. Death: Where woman dies during the period of 12 weeks, the maternity benefit shall be payable only for the days up to and including the day of her death, Where the woman delivery a child and then dies during her delivery or during the period immediately following the date of her delivery for which she is entitled for the maternity benefit, leaving behind the child, the employer shall be liable for payment of maternity benefit for the days up to and including the date of the death of the child.