Coming to the contributory conditions,in order to be eligible for maternity leave you should satisfy certain contributory conditions. The first one is that the benefit of maternity leave is available only in the benefit period. For an employee who joined in October 2018, the first benefit period will be from June, July, roughly. Now being 3rd month of pregnancy, the expected date of delivery should be sometime in Sept or Oct and that is okay.
The second condition is that you should have worked at least for 70 days in two consecutive contribution periods. Anyway, you will cover the contribution periods of Oct to March, April to Sept before delivery. That means, you will get maternity leave from the Corporation. During the leave period you will be paid full salary, the salary on which your employer contributes ESI.
You have to go to your ESI dispensary and undergo tests etc there and collect the necessary certificates. You can not opt for any private hospital unless the Medical Officer refer you to any private hospital. Under normal circumstances, they will refer you only if there is any complication. That is why I started the post with a negative note that if you don't want the facility but only want the 26 weeks leave, then it will not work.
Your HR manager's version that there is no maternity leave is not correct. But he is right when he says that in respect of an employee under ESI, the employer will not pay any leave salary.
10th April 2019 From India, Kannur
I am working one of the added degree college from past eight years in mysore. Now I am a seven month pregnet. Our Institution is asked me to take a one year leave without pay. But when I asked about the maternity leave they said you have to pay for one candidate during your maternity leave. I am a management permanenet employee . What is the procedure to get maternity leave and how to claim delivery expenses in ESI hopitals.
22nd April 2019 From India, Mysore
24th April 2019 From India, Kannur