The meaning of sentence is, benefit is applicable to female employee who have worked at least 80 days before she declares her pregnancy. For eg : If any women is not coming to work for 12 months due to any personal or health reason and if she comes and ask for Meternity Benefit then it may not be applicable to her.
My next question is for Mr. V. Harikishnan,
Does it mean, if a women has completed her 2 month (30 days in each) and 20 days service than she will become eligible for maternity benefits.
As per ESIC Act, For entitlement to maternity benefit, the insured woman should have contributed for not less than seventy days in the immediately preceding two consecutive contribution periods prior to actual or expected date of confinement.
Now, esic set two contribution period (each of Six months) to count eligibility for benefits.
Than it should have been the same case in the matter of non esic covered women.
Please read section 5(2) of the Maternity Benefit Act. However I have extracted the relevant portion of sectui 5(2)below
"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:"
So to qualify to get maternity benefit the woman should have actually worked in the establishment of the employer. The section uses the term "actually worked" and not "service". You have equated "worked" with "service".
Secondly a worker whether man or woman could not work for 30 days in a month as he/she would have had weekly holidays during the month. All laws regulating the working hours/weekly holidays do not prescribe the payment of wages for weekly holidays. Example Factories Act.
Thirdly Please read the explanation to section 5(2) which states what are the days to be included/excluded while computing the eighty days. This explanation says that holidays declared under any law for the time being in force to be holidays with wages are included while computing the eighty days. If the weekly holidays are holidays with wages under any law applicable to the establishment in which the woman is working then she would be eligible to get maternity benefit after 2 months and 20 days if she had actually worked on all the days excepting the weekly holidays for which she is entitled to wages under any law applicable
My last question on the above matter.
Is that mean maternity benefit act has two types of criteria. One is for employer to provide benefit on approx three month of service (if consider payment of rest days/holidays) and second for ESIC with two contribution period (six months in each) condition.
As per section 5A of maternity benefit act. "Continuance of payment of maternity benefit in certain cases.—Every woman entitled to the payment of maternity benefit under this Act shall, notwithstanding the application of the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), to the factory or other establishment in which she is employed, continue to be so entitled until she becomes qualified to claim maternity benefit under section 50 of that Act.].
Does it mean, after three months of service, a women, who is cover under ESIC act, can claim maternity benefits from the employer (because of non completion of two contribution period condition).
If you have the option of work from home, she can be given that option, as sickness during initial days of pregnancy is very common.
Changing her employment status ( either part time or consultant) especially during initial maternity period is not ethical and valid. This will be construed as employer's inner motive to pay less maternity salary.