Maternity benefit Act, Factories Act and ESIC Act are all seprate and exclusive acts. The ESCI act only absolves employers responsibilities in terms of maternity benefits prescribed under Maternity benefit Act.
Your confusion is valid as through the last amendment the MB act has made compulsory provision of creche where there are 50 or more Employee- watch here the word EMPLOYEE is used and not FEMALE EMPLOYEE- Im not sure any clarification has been made or not with regards to this blunder.
Factory act specifically mentions that creche to be provided wherever there are 30 or more Female workers are engaged (this includes contract workers also).
For both the act the competent authority is Factory Inspector. May follow Factories Act provisions till further clarification by your state either through rule or notification has been made.
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In a factory (as defined under Factories Act 1948) a creche is required if there are 30 female workers are engaged by occupier. Not necessary under this provision here that all 30 should be married or one is requiring facility of Creche, but law demands a creche is must. Similarly, by reading MB Act notified and applicable effective 1st April 2017, if there are 50 employees (male and female together included) in any establishment then creche facility is must. Here ,this provision is specially introduced for establishment registered under Shops and Establishments Act 1948. So ,we have to be clear wrt both enactments which are differently and separately made applicable-One for Factories and second for workplaces under ambit of Shops and Establishments but clearly unconcerned .So, if you are factory manager, if you have requirement of creche because more than 30 females are engaged then you should have a creche and in your head /Corporate office which is registered under Shops and Establishments Act, suppose you have 32 female employees working with only 15 male employees (Total strength is 47) then Creche facility is not to be provided at Corporate Office because total employees strength is less than 50 even though female strength is more. Take a different case where in another situation , even 1 female employee is working in any office registered under Shops and Establishment Act, with 52 male employees (Total 53) then creche has to be provided as total strength is more than 50 EMPLOYEES. These situations are embarrassing and an example of unmindful live acts on the part of Government.Objectivity is some thing, enactments are causing direct impact on women employment. Who will engage 1 female among 52 and maintain princely creche for ???
Work places registered under Shops and Establishments Act are not inspected under Factories Act by Factory Inspectors. Such establishments are inspected by Labour Enforcement Officers .
From reading of both above, it is evidently clear that Govt. has taken hasty steps which would cause drastic reduction in women employment , making available pool of talent un-utilized .
Thanks and regards,