Legal Analyst, Hrm
Gm (hr)
Sr Advocate

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Dear Esteemed Members,
I have seen Small Pvt. Co. wherein hardly 4 or 5 women employees working gets fired whenever they disclosed about their pregnancy to Employer. The employer dismisses the employee stating the reasons that Employee now working efficiently BUT THE MAIN REASON is they are not interested in paying maternity benefits hence treat it as Cost rather then Right of an Women Employee.
In such Situation what should a Women.... If I'm not wrong the law prevents a Women on Maternity Leave to get terminated but here its a Different Case as the Women is still Working.

From India, Delhi
sonia same thing i was fearing as now government is planning to increase maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks,when employer is not ready to give 12 weeks leave than how he will 26 weeks means 6 month salary and by bringing this law in force women employment opportunities will go down.
as per your query women can move to civil court against her termination and even can take stay on termination but
you can understand one thing ,at this stage women will not like to go to court which is a tedious job in india

From India, Delhi
Dismissal without proper procedure will be deemed to be illegal. Illegally dismissed employee can approach District Labour Officer for getting the issue solved.
From India, Kochi
Dear Sonia,

Very good question! In fact, several small or medium level companies do try that they may avoid payment of maternity benefits, as permissible under the provisions of law. So, your question is quite valid in that respect, so that the employer may not shun his responsibility to bear the lawful liability towards women workers.

About your question, what should a woman do when such a situation arises where the employer illegally tries to fire his women employee on the pretext of not working efficiently, a woman employee should not delay giving formal notice under section section 6 of the Maternity Benfits Act, 1961, even for a single day after she herself comes to know after medical check up. She should not give any chance to make the employer to know about her maternity automatically after taking notice about her physical conditions or on verbal intimation. Once a formal notice i given, the employer is bound to fulfil his laibility under the provisions of the Act. The notice must be in prescribed form, as per the provisions of section 6 of the Act, ibid. Section 6(1) & (2) clearly state, as follows:

(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.

From India, Delhi
Dear All,
Availing 26 weeks maternity benefit for women employees are not able to handle the work up to Six months is impossible if employer thinks about. If no employer is wait or pending the work up to six months. So the government has to balance both the employee and employer welfare (nobody cannot affect).

From India, Coimbatore
Thanks a lot members will surely update my women friends about what needs to be taken care of while informing about her pregnancy to her employer.
Thanks Mr. PS Dhingra..
I understand that for Employer it might be difficult to manage work for an employee who is on leave for 26 weeks but Nothing is above Government Rule, One Cannot deprived a Women Right for Maternity leave. Morever one shall not treat it as Cost...Employer should have an mechanism where work shall not affected and its their duty.
I also strongly feel that Maternity Benefit Act shall be Renamed as Maternity RIGHT ACT. As the later more is more apt and sound.

From India, Delhi
Dear Senthil,

I wonder to read your post, as if you believe that there is only one employee in the organization or only one employee is trained or skilled to handle a job and no one else should be made ready to do the job of an absentee by whatever cause he or she has become absent. Suppose some employee remains hospitalised for 5-6 months due to some severe accident or illness, should his/her position be not handled by anyone else? Please be aware, organisations are not closed due to absence of one or two persons. The question arises, what for HR Unit is established, if they are not able to handle any situation in the absence of a particular employee.

Work of an organization never gets stand still in the absence of one, two or even ten employees, if a manager possesses the real skill of management. Dependency on a particular individual can never be considered as the skill of a manager. That becomes the weakness of a manager. Feeling of helplessness is also not a strength, but a great weakness of a manager. These elements can become the major cause of inefficiency of a manager.

So, as HR personnel, if you show your incapability to handle any situation that cannot be your skill or mastery in HRM. A manager must be adaptable to any situation that arises any time. A manager is also responsible to keep take care of work-life balance of employees. Do you think, during her presence in the office, if a lady employee who remains worried and tense about her small kid of merely about two months at home, can give productivity to the organisation? Never. So, there is nothing wrong if the women employees get maternity leave of 6 months. You can expect much more productivity from a tension free lady, while in office. She can be expected to be wholly dedicated to her job while in office, like she remains dedicated to her daily household affairs at home.

From India, Delhi
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