Hope you are sure about the applicability of the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 to the establishment wherein your wife has been employed since 04 th October, 2018.
There is no mention in the post whether the fact of your wife's pregnancy was officially intimated to her employer.
As per sec.5(2) of the MB Act,1961, a woman claiming maternity benefit contemplated u/s 5(1) has to be in the service of the establishment for a period of not less than 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery. Thus it is a counting backward from the expected date of delivery. As of now, your wife has been in the service of the establishment for more than 80 days and hence no problem in determining the threshold service for eligibility under the Act from whatever the expected date of delivery would be.
If you are particular about both retaining her employment and claiming the maternity benefit under the Act, what you have to do first is obtaining a certificate from a registered Medical Practitioner about the fact of your wife's pregnancy and the probable date of expected delivery (may be in the form prescribed under your State Rules). It will preempt the possible attempt of the employer to terminate her services on any ground so as to deprive her of the maternity benefit contemplated under the Act as provided for u/s 12 of the Act which also indicates the legal remedy in case of breach by the employer.
Coming to the practical aspects of the issue, the recent amendment extending the maternity benefit of absence from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, in fact, forces many employers to try through indirect compulsion or persuasive cajolery somehow or other to dispense with the services of a woman the moment the fact of her pregnancy comes to their notice by inference or by word of mouth. The welfare-oriented Governments also do not take any positive steps to assist the employers to some extent by any monetary means from their exchequer though sizable income tax generation is augmented through salaried class.
Since your wife is in her early stage of pregnancy, I am doubtful whether she can withstand the probable mental torture and work pressure likely to be given by the employer. So, my suggestion is to act wisely with a broader perspective than insisting legal rights. After all employment is a means to living and not life in itself.
19th January 2019 From India, Salem