Harsh Kumar Mehta
Consultant In Labour Laws/hr
[email protected]
Retired Government Servant/advocate
Interview Skills Guide
Aparajita Banerjee
Manager - Hr
+2 Others

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Dear Friend, I have a case study as below, please give your input for the same.
I my organisation a lady joined in Feb. 2015 & at that time she does not disclosed that she is Pregnant or she may not aware about that. In Oct. 2015 she delivered a baby child & now she is claiming the maternity benefit as per act. My question is
01. Whether is she eligible for Maternity Benefit as she hid the information at the time of joining?
02. As she has not completed 1 year of service is she eligible for benefit as in act it has mentioned that the employee should have worked at least 80 days in preceding year, does it mean the employee should have one year service with current organisation.
You valued input awaited...
Thanks you...

From India, Mumbai
Yes she is legally entitled for maternity benefit . NO matter she discloses it or not. Or in job for less than 01 year. Its her right and your duty to provide with maternity benefits as per law.
From India, Delhi
1. Dear member, I think, it is not proper to say that in order to be eligible, the woman employee must have completed at least one year of service in the organisation, in which she is employed. In case, the woman employee is claiming maternity benefit under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, it is essential for the employer or concerned HR to examine the eligibility conditions as laid down under said Act and make compliance accordingly. Please indicate as to for how many days the said woman employee had worked in the organisation on the date of her expected delivery ( as certified by the authorised medical officer) ? (Section 5(2) of said Act.). How the number of days are to be calculated is mentioned in Explanation in section 5(2) of said Act.

2. Kindly also intimate whether it was a pre-condition of employment that no woman employee should be pregnant at the time of joining her employment in your organisation ?. If so, whether such terms and conditions is communicated in writing to woman employees in your organisation before her joining ? So far as I understand, there is no such pre-condition in the Act as mentioned above.

From India, Noida
First confirm whether the Act is applicable to your establishment.If so she is eligible for benefits. There is no rule that she should declare her pregnancy at the time of joining.
From India, Thiruvananthapuram
From the date of joining of the employee you mentioned it is presumed that she appeared for the interview and got selected at least few days prior to February 2015, perhaps during interview or at the time of joining she was not sure about her pregnancy. It is not mandatory that to get the maternity benefit an employee has to work for one year in the organization, but it is to be checked whether she has worked at least 80 days during the tenure of her job in your organization. If the above condition is fulfilled employer can not turn down her claim to get the maternity benefit. Hope your query is satisfied. Seniors are requested to correct if my post contains any mistake.

From United States, New York
The provisions of Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 itself suggests the answers:

5(2) 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:

True construction of the provision is that any woman employee who has worked for period of 80 days during the preceding twelve months is entitled for the benefit. The provision is that 80 days of employment need not be continuous, but could be spread over a period twelve months in different spells. It could as well be that she has joined just 80 days before her date of delivery.

6. Notice of claim for maternity benefit and payment thereof

(1) Any woman employed in an establishment and entitled to maternity benefit under the provisions of this Act may give notice in writing in such form as may be prescribed, to her employer, stating that her maternity benefit and any other amount to which she may be entitled under this Act may be paid to her or to such person as she may nominat6 in the notice and that she will not work in any establishment during the period for which she receives maternity benefit.

(2) In the case of a woman who is pregnant, such notice shall state the date from which she will be absent from work, not being a date earlier than six weeks from the date of her expected delivery.

(3) Any woman who has not given the notice when she was pregnant may give such notice as soon as possible after the delivery.

1[(4) On receipt of the notice, the employer shall permit such woman to absent herself from the establishment during the period for which she receives the maternity benefit.]

(5) The amount of maternity benefit for the period preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be paid in advance by the employer to the woman on production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman is pregnant, and the amount due for the subsequent period shall be paid by the employer to the woman within forty-eight hours of production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman has been delivered of a child.

(6) The failure to give notice under this section shall not disentitle a woman to maternity benefit or any other amount under this Act if she is otherwise entitled to such benefit or amount and in any such case an Inspector may either of his own motion or on an application made to him by the woman, order the payment of such benefit or amount within such period as may be specified in the order.

The provision is unambiguous. The notice could be given even after the delivery. And in exceptional cases, maternity benefit could availed of even if if she has failed to give notice. As such, it is no consequence if she has not informed of her pregnancy at the time of selection.

The answers are quite elementary if the provisions of the Act are read as a whole.

From India, Kochi
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