I joined a private company on 8th Jan'19 and got confirmation letter on Apr'19. I am now 4 month pregnant. So, I wanted to know if I am eligible to get maternity benefits? Also, if they are firing a pregnant employee due to poor performance, are they still supposed to provide maternity benefits?
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In order to be eligible for maternity benefits, a benefit in the nature of 6 months(26 weeks) leave with salary and Rs 3500 as medical bonus, are available to women employee who has worked for at least 80 days DURING the 12 MONTHS immediately preceding the date of delivery. f that employee is under ESI, then it is 70 days contribution in TWO CONTRIBUTION PERIODS. That is also equal to one year, almost.
The above interpretation of law is mine only and there has been a lot of discussions on the similar issue and some were saying that a woman is entitled to maternity benefits if she had worked at least for 80 days before delivery. This interpretation does not consider the wording in section 5(2) of the Act that, "No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked ......... for a period of not less than eighty days in 'the twelve months' immediately preceding the
date of her expected delivery". The explanation for 80 days also states that, "For the purpose of calculating the days on which a woman has actually worked in the establishment (ie, the 80 days as mentioned above), the days for which she has been laid-off during the period of 'twelve months' immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be taken into account".
The above views show that 12 months from joining and 80 days in that period are pre conditions for getting maternity benefits.
Firing an employee on the ground of pregnancy is anyway a very bad HR practice. For that you can approach the appropriate authority.
Unquote:
Labour laws are meant for persons who work for the employers. These laws protect the employees. But just on the ground that I have become an employee, the laws may not become a protective shield for me. It is seen that we people join an organisation just to avail leaves. The very purpose of becoming an employee is to know what are the rights and how to get it.
Did you informed the management about your pregnancy? If not please inform in writing with doctor's prescription.
Your management can not fire you as they have confirmed you recently on ground of poor performance. You have to seek legal action if at all they are terminating you at this period of pregnancy.
Please understand that confirmation has nothing to do with availing maternity benefits. Even an employee on probation can get it provided she has been working in the organisation for the required period of 12 months. Essentially, it is not the status like probation or confirmation which makes to eligible for benefits under any Labour law. Even the protection of ID Act is not based on whether the employee is a conformed one or not but it is on the basis of working (240 days in 12 months...etc)
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