1. You are correct so far as restrictions imposed on Government employees is concerned. The Governments are entitled to impose any policy of small family norms on their employees by enacting service conditions viz. The Fundamenal Rules etc.
2. However, there appears to be no such restrictions so far as Maternity Benefit Act and ESI Act, 1948 are concerned. The reasons may be that these enactments affect a large number of working population and furthermore by virtue of their contributions (ESI Act) they become entitled for maternity benefit. There may also be reasons that payment of maternity benefit under these Acts has no effect on financial resources of the Governments. However, in respect of "Confinement Expenses" [which is paid by ESIC under Rule 56-A of ESI (Central) Rules, 1950], which are paid to insured woman and the wife of insured persons there is restrictions of "two confinements only".
3. If in future the legislature want to put any restrictions in above Acts, then certainly it will be at par with the facilities available to Governments employees. However, in that case such restrictions may be having the force of law.
From India, Noida
1. What are the norms and how they account for restrictions vis-a-vis the Laws
2. Is it on No.of confinements or on No.of children she bears/delivers
3. Is it limited to the payment of maternity benefits only or other important provisions with regard to Maternity leave, child care relaxations, fighting malnourishment, health of the mother and
4. her relevance in bringing up the surviving children
5. and job security of the mother in certain specified employments /establishments so on
I wish to quote /refer the Judgment of the Madras High Court (2009) in the matter of extending Maternity Benefits passed by Learned Mr. Justice (Rtd) K. Chandru, (whom I admire most as the one of very few judges of our generation who meant Justice and it should also be speedy) who had touched upon many relevant provisions from various Acts in this judgment. I failed to cullout some of his views to fit them here in order to make this short, but every word of his found to be apt and hence his shorter version of judgment is attached for our members to appreciate his views in the matter. Further I also extracted and quote here relevent portions from another judgment of the SC (though related to woman casual labour) …..
Going by these references I only wish to say it’s not justifiable to discriminate woman folks based on the status of employment or on No.of confinements & children, or place of posting etc. in the matter of extending Maternity benefits including grant of leave and monetary issues, post natal difficulties, child & mother care etc.
From India, Bangalore