Your query is that you have joined on 02/02/2017 delivered my baby on 11/12/2017. Do you fulfill the eligibility conditions of contribution period and benefit period?
As rightly pointed out by you Rule 56-Employees' State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950 Maternity benefits.- (1) An insured woman shall be qualified to claim maternity benefits for a confinement occurring or expected to occur in a benefit period, if the contributions in respect of her were payable for not less than seventy days in the immediately preceding two consecutive contribution periods.
The ESI, Headquarter has issued a Circular No.R-14/13/99-Bft.II dated 20th March, 2018 clarified the condition for entitlement of Maternity Benefit under ESI Act.
The Circular also admit under para 3 that several maternity benefit claims which were rightly rejected
The Circular also clarified the condition for entitlement of maternity benefit under para 5. Para 5 reads as follows:-
Pars 5 With the above, it is also clarified that, to work out the entitlement of maternity benefit, 2 consecutive Contribution period to be taken immediately prior to the actual or expected date of confinement. Taking both the Contribution period together, if the contribution was payable for not less than 70 days, the IW would be eligible. Even if she satisfied this contributory condition in one or the other of the said two contribution periods, she shall be entitled for maternity benefit.
So in order to avail the maternity benefit under ESI Act the Insured Woman has to fulfill the condition of not less than 70 days prior to actual or expected date of confinement.
In your case you have mentioned that the date of delivery as 11th December, 2017. As such the confinement might have taken place by February, 2017 end or early March, 2017. That is the reason ESI authority has not taken into consideration the contribution period (1st April, 2017 to 30th September, 2017).
A copy of the Circular is attached herewith for your kind perusal.
While the ESI consider the date of actual confinement or expected to occur in a benefit period for entitlement of Maternity Benefit, the Maternity Benefit under the Maternity Benefit Act stipulates [(Section 5(2)] The twelve months is a time period fixed by the framers of the Maternity Benefit Act.
“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’
Here the term used is the “actually worked” and not “service”.
Explanation to Section 5(2) clearly states which are the days included and excluded while computing the number of days actually worked..
Hence, 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.
In your case it seems that you have worked 80 days in your establishment before your date of delivery and as such you are entitled to claim the benefit from the Management.
As rightly pointed out by our friend Mr. Srinath Sai Ram log in to ESI IP Portal with your ESI Insurance # If you are not eligible for Maternity benefit, contact your Employer to pay MB to the extent of 26 Weeks Salary under The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 with Print of not eligible for Maternity Benefit downloaded from ESI IP Portal
P S Lakshmanan
S. G. Management Services