Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
KK!HR
Management Consultancy
Jignesh Liya
Textile Printing Head

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My wife was working in a company since Nov'2011 and Left company Mar'2014 . Later within 2-3 month she got an Offer from past employer to join back Organisation with better pay scale. By the time of re joining she was pregnant 5-6 month. She joined the company and worked for 3 month i.e. Aug-Sep-Oct'14. After that she went on Leave as she was on high time of pregnancy. But during her 3 months working she could not attain office for all days, instead she attained for around 60 days.
Now by the time of claiming maternity benefits, her company employer kept her lingering for 3 years and now they are saying that she is not eligible to get benefit of maternity as she did not attain all 80 days at Office. Whereas we believes that she was with company for all those 90 days but they are counting it on basis of attendance only.
Kindly help me to understand the Law sentence which states that, "This statute is based on the expectant mother being your employee for at least 80 days in the 12 months preceding the pregnancy." I think we deserve to claim benefits.
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The text of the relevant provision reads as under:-
(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:
Explanation.--For the purpose of calculating under this sub- section the days on which a woman has actually worked in the establishment, the days for which she has been laid off or was on holidays declared under any law for the time being in force to be holidays with wages during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be taken into account.
So the requirement is 'actually worked for not less than eighty days in the establishment' and the intervening paid holidays (i.e., weekly offs, August 15) could be reckoned.
Dear Jignesh,
As admitted by yourself -
a) Your wife was in the service of the establishment during the period from November,2011 to Mach,2014 and left the job once for all in March, 2014.
b) The exit was on her own and no dispute in this regard at all.
c) Again she joined the same establishment afresh in August,2014 on a better compensation package and was in the service of the establishment continuously till October, 2014 for about 92 days in total.
d) In this continuous stretch of 3 months comprising of 92 days in aggregate, she was able to work actually for around 60 days only. In the absence of the particulars relating to the exact dates of joining and of leave intermittently availed of and the actual no. of working days and holidays for the establishment during the period, one has to infer that there were weekly holidays of 13 Sundays and two National holidays on 15th August and 2nd October,2014 respectively comprising of a total of 15 paid holidays. Subtracting this from 92, she ought to have actually worked for 77 days. But she actually worked for about 60 days only. At the most, the remaining 17 days to be treated as LLOP only.
Adopting the principle of beneficial interpretation of Statutes, perhaps, your wife may be eligible to claim maternity benefit and her employer also requires such an order from the competent authority. Therefore, my suggestion would be to file an appeal.
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