Maternity benefit contemplated under the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 is authorized absence from work with wages/salary computed on average basis with reference to the three months period just prior to the absence. This period of absence is for 26 weeks and in certain special cases on medical ground may extend to a further period of one month.
Appraisal is the evaluation of an employees' performance over a period of 12 consecutive months. When a woman is thus statutorily authorised to be away from work, certainly that period would be of no work. Hence no possibility of including such period of absence in the appraisal.
Therefore, in my opinion, appraisal can be done with reference to the period actually such employee worked.