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Hello, One of our employees have advised complete bedrest and she is in her first trimester. She will be atleast 3 months of unpaid leaves. Will she be eligible for 6 months paid maternity leave?
please mention that the employee is covered under ESIC or not, to get better response
@U S Sharma,
The employee is not covered under ESIC as she is out of that salary range. She is confirmed employee and working with us for last 1.5 years
She is advised to complete bedrest and also her paid leaves are zero. She is a good employee but we are 100+ people organization ( 75% female employees) so need to take a fare & balanced decision.
So what should we do?
Please advise.
Thank you in advance,

Other provisions of the MB Act, including the eligibility criteria for maternity benefit, remain unchanged. Under the MB Act, a woman is eligible to receive maternity benefit if she has worked for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding her expected date of delivery. Further, the prohibition on employing a woman for six weeks following delivery, miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, continues to apply. Unfortunately, no change has been made to include statutory paternity leave, even though there were discussions in the Rajya Sabha to introduce child care leave for fathers.
{80 days in last 12 months physical presence is eligibility criteria}
Maternity Benefit Amendments: Closer To Reality - Employment and HR - India

When the employer is convinced that the employee is absent due to valid reasons, any leave, as applied, needs to be sanctioned. May be it is leave without pay, but still she continues to be in service. As such, the availing of leave without pay is no reason for denying her the maternity benefits.
As an employer, you will have to approve such leaves. However the employee will have to submit supportive medical documents to support her leaves. In case where the employee does not have any paid leaves, such leaves will be considered to be without pay. The employee will be entitled to the leaves of 26 weeks (8 weeks prior to delivery and 18 weeks post delivery) as per the act, for which she if to be paid in full. Post this leave period, the doctor, if still advice the employee to take rest, as an employer you will have to grant her leaves; provided medical documents are submitted for this as well. If permissible, you can allow her to work from home during this duration.
Other members, please do correct me if I am wrong as I am also novice to laws and compliance.

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