- Prohibition of engagement of women worker in work in certain cases.—(1) No employer shall knowingly engage a woman in his establishment during the 8 (eight) weeks immediately following the day of her delivery.
- No woman shall work in any establishment during the 8 (eight) weeks immediately following the day of her delivery.
- No employer shall employ any woman for doing any work which is of an arduous nature or which involves long hours of standing or which is likely to adversely affect her health, if—
- he has reason to believe or if the woman has informed him that she is likely to deliver a child within 10 (ten) weeks;
- to the knowledge of the employer the woman has delivered a child within the preceding 10 (ten) weeks:
Provided that in the case of tea plantation worker, a woman worker may do work of a light nature if and for so long as the medical practitioner of the concerned
tea estate certifies that she is physically fit to do so; and, for the days that she does such work, she shall be paid for such work wages at the rate prescribed under the existing law, and such wages shall be payable in addition to the maternity benefit.
- Right to maternity benefit and liability for its payment.—(1) Every woman worker shall be entitled to maternity benefit from her employer for the period of 8 (eight) weeks1 preceding the expected day of her delivery and 8 (eight) weeks immediately following the day of her delivery, and her employer shall be bound to give her this benefit:
Provided that a woman shall not be entitled to such benefit unless she has worked under her employer for a period of not less than 6 (six) months immediately preceding the day of her delivery.
- No such benefit shall be payable to a woman if at the time of her delivery she has 2 (two) or more surviving children, but in that case she may enjoy any leave which is due to her.
- Procedure regarding payment of maternity benefit.—(1) If a pregnant woman is entitled to maternity benefit under this Act, she shall, on any day, give notice either orally or in writing to her employer that she expects to be confined within 8 (eight) weeks next following and the name of the person who shall receive the payment of the benefit in case of her death shall also be included in the notice.
- If a woman has not given any such notice, she shall inform her employer about her giving birth to a child by giving such notice within 7 (seven) days of her giving birth to child.
- After receipt of a notice under sub-section (1) or (2), the employer shall permit the concerned woman to absent herself from work,—
- in the case of a notice under sub-section (1), from the day following the date of notice;
- in the case of a notice under sub-section (2), from the day of delivery until 8 (eight) weeks after the day of delivery.
- An employer shall pay maternity benefit to a woman in any of the following ways as that woman may desire, namely:—
- where a certificate from a registered medical practitioner is produced stating that the woman is expected to be confined within 8 (eight) weeks the maternity benefit payable for 8 (eight) weeks preceding delivery shall be paid within 3 (three) working days following the production of the certificate, and such benefit payable for the remaining period shall be paid within 3 (three) working days of the production of proof that she has given birth to a child; or
- maternity benefit payable for 8 (eight) weeks preceding and including the date of delivery shall be paid within 3 (three) working days following the production of proof to the employer that she has given birth to a child, and such benefit payable for the remaining period shall be paid within 8 (eight) weeks following the production of such proof; or
- maternity benefit payable for the whole of such period shall be paid within three working days following the production of proof that she has given birth to a child:
Provided that a woman shall not be entitled to any maternity benefit or any part thereof, the payment of which is dependent upon the production of proof under this sub-section that she has given birth to a child, unless such proof is produced within 3 (three) months of the day of her delivery.
- The proof which is required to be produced under sub-section (4) shall be either an attested extract from a birth register maintained under the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 2004 (Act No. XXIX of 2004) or a certificate given by a registered medical practitioner or such other proof as may be acceptable to the employer.
- Amount of maternity benefit.—(1) The maternity benefit which is payable under this Act shall be paid at the rate of daily, weekly or monthly average wages, as the case may be, calculated in the manner laid down in sub-section (2), and such payment shall be made wholly in cash.
(2) For the purpose of sub-section (1), the daily, weekly or monthly average wages shall be calculated by dividing the total wages earned by the concerned woman during 3 (three) months immediately preceding the date on which she gives notice under this Chapter by the number of days she actually worked during that period.
- Payment of maternity benefit in case of death of a woman.—(1) If a woman entitled to maternity benefit under this Chapter dies at the time of her delivery or during 8 (eight) weeks following thereof, the employer shall pay the amount of maternity benefit, if the newly born child survives, to the person who takes care of the child, and if the child does not survive to the person nominated by her under this Chapter, or if there is no such nominee, to her legal representative.
(2) If a woman dies during the period for which she is entitled to maternity benefit but before giving birth to a child, the employer shall be liable to pay such benefit for the period preceding and including the day of her death, provided that if any such benefit already paid to her exceeds the amount of such benefit now payable shall not be recoverable, and if any amount in this regard is due to the employer till the time of death of the woman, he shall pay it to the nominee of the woman under this Chapter, or if there is no nominee, to her legal representative.
- Restrictions on termination of employment of a woman in certain cases.—If any notice or order of discharge, dismissal, removal or otherwise termination of employment is given by the employer to a woman worker within a period of 6 (six) months before and 8 (eight) weeks after her delivery and such notice or order is given without sufficient cause, she shall not be deprived of any maternity benefit to which she would be entitled under this Chapter if such notice or order has not been given.