Ask your HR to update their knowledge.
iii) No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefit, for a period of not less than eighty days in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.
I hope this helps.

From India, Pune
1. Dear member, Sh. Nathrao ji, senior member in his remarks as above has reproduced the extract of section 5(2) of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 for your information which lays down the eligibility condition of minimum employment for claiming maternity benefit under said Act. It is true that at some time i.e. earlier to 10/01/1989, the condition of employment of 160 days was there in above Act, but since 10/01/1989, this condition of minimum employment has been reduced to "eighty days". If your HR or principal employer of your unit is considering a law as old as 27 years, then we can presume and see the state of affairs of compliance of labour laws in the establishment in which you are working. You can purchase a up-dated bare Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 and show the provisions to your authorities.

2. However, in my opinion, before claiming the said maternity benefit, I hope, you must have got proper medical certification from authorised medical officer and also ensured that "on the date of expected delivery" ( as certified by the medical officer) you had completed the service "of not less than eighty days in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of ......expected delivery"

From India, Noida

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