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Please suggest by referring the following grounds that whether a company can terminate a pregnant lady?
1. As per maternity benifit Act Legally she can avail a Leave for 26 weeks.
2. Among said 26 months she can opt leave of 8 weeks before delivery.
and additional one month leave in case of medical illness during pregnancy
so as per my understanding legally she can avail maximum 3 months leave before delivery (8 weeks(2 months)+1 Months for illness)
3. Also as per Maternity Benefit Act Company can not terminate Women employee who is pregnant.
Present Situation
1. In Our Company One Lady if Pregnant and currently she in 2.5 Month of Pregnancy
2. She has already taken approx 2 months leave after she got pregnant
and her medical reports indicate that she is practically un fit to join her duty as she has a very high rate of BP and she is advised to take Bad rest
3. So in such condition after allowing her a total 3 months eligible leave before delivery as per Maternity Banifit Act, She is not sure that whether she can join after leave or not
4. Now can a company terminate her?
Please Guide me on said Matter

From India, Ahmedabad

High BP during the period of conception is a common medical problem and it gets resolved after delivery but bed rest is advised during this period. Hopefully she would be able to join duty after exhausting her maternity leave. As she is unfit now, she cannot be compelled to resume nor you can terminate her services.
From India, Mumbai

You cannot terminate her. You cannot refuse to grant her leave for 26 weeks of which 8 weeks leave may precede the date of delivery. Normally the one month additional leave is given for illness connected with pregnancy, child birth, premature birth or miscarriage of child and is subject to production of proof. Since there is no clause to say that one month additional leave is given for complications arising out of child birth, it can be given for miscarriage or any illness connected with pregnancy. And when you have medical practitioners who are ready to give certificates in support of the illness, you cannot deny the leave. Virtually, the total leave will become 30 weeks. There will be enough number of leaves in between also. If you want to run the business you have two choices. one, to give such long leaves and also expect that the maternity leave may also become 1 year in the near future because this is the only amendment which will be passed without any protest due to the reason that we all say that women should be given respect and no political party will say against it.
Second option is that to deny employment to women or select those who have two or more children. When I say this, I know that women will cross me and even I can be behind the bars, because the law is like that. When the Maternity Benefit Act was about to get amended, I had said that this is going to create a situation that employability of women will drastically decrease. It is true, many organisations have now realised that by employing women they are losing man hours drastically. But the law says so, what we can do?
I have come across with situations where the women are even ready to work in night shifts and in even jobs involving extensive travelling and meeting clients at odd times. Once given employment, you will find a lot of excuses, she cannot go out to meet clients without a male colleague , she cannot travel in public transport, she cannot travel at night....etc, keeping aside the fact they they are equal in all sense, they are empowered and do not require support from anybody.......Now the decision is yours. But never terminate an employee without valid reasons.If you find that she is taking so many leaves in connection with her pregnancy then ask for explanation and based on that take action. But before that please ensure that her absence is not for genuine reasons and if there is genuine reasons, never take any action. Taken for granted that she should be given 30 weeks leave and do not expect anything back from her during her pregnancy period and also never think that you she will return after maternity leave and will resume work after that.

From India, Kannur

Dear Mihika,
Mr Madhu T.K has given all round description for understanding the matter well. In one line you are admitting that pregnant employee can not be terminated as per Maternity Benefit Act. Still you consider to terminate a pregnant woman for her sickness, which is consequencial disorder due to pregnancy. This type of sickness is common with pregnant lady and other complications too. There are instances where employee opts to leave owing to rearing of children and management paid lumpsum.
I do not see any ground for a termination where case is pregnency and remain protected by virtue of the Maternity Benefit Act.

From India, Mumbai
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear Madam,
In the given case, the lady employee is in the midst of ML followed by an illness. She is yet to deliver and Doctors have not finally confirmed that she would be unable to resume. In this situation , is it not premature on your part even to contemplate action of termination based on heresay?
Despite you yourself being lady colleague, you are showing lack of sensitivity towards the pregnant yet undelivered lady employee by not having enough patience for situation to unfold to its natural point.
It would be unjust to show haste in the contemplated action of termination , when delivery is awaited and her inability to resume duty post-delivery is yet unknown?
I think you should display more empathy and feelings towards the lady colleague rather than throwing her out of employment prematurely.
Your approach should be to wait and watch and cross the bridge when you come to it rather than jumping the gun.
Vinayak Nagarkar

From India, Mumbai

Better option would be to give the full maternity & medical leave to the staff and allow her to go on loss of pay beyond that period. If possible, she can be counselled to resign now and attempt to join after she becomes fit for the job.
From India, Chennai
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