Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant

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If a mother wishes to extend her 26 weeks maternity leave, for another 6 weeks of unpaid leaves?
Is it a legal obligation for the company to allow the same?
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Dear Navita,
Please refer to sec.10 of the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 which allows an additional Leave with Wages for a period of one month for illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery etc., on production of sufficient medical evidence.
Dear Umakanthan,
Thanks for the reply. Just need clarification, if it is not the medical requirement, and mother just need a few more weeks of leaves ( Unpaid), is my company under the legal obligation to fulfill the leave requirement or we can deny for extra leaves and ask the person to join once maternity leaves over?
looking forward to the reply at earliest.
Regards!
Dear Navita,
I think that I need not explain in detail about the physical strain and the psychological depression experienced by a mother undergoing the postpartum period. Therefore, I am of the opinion that no 'Ifs' and 'Buts' of an employer would justify his refusal of such a leave request by an employee who is just a new mother. Simply put, the employer is legally bound to sanction the leave with wages for a maximum of 30 days in addition to the 26 weeks maternity leave if the leave extension request is supported by medical evidence. If not, compassion would demand the sanction of the leave on loss of pay.
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