The Act does not say that a woman employee who has worked for 80 days will get maternity benefits but the Act says that a woman employee who has worked for 80 days in "12 months preceding the expected date of delivery" is eligible for maternity leave. Therefore, the qualifying service is 12 months and during this 12 months 80 days working. Accordingly a woman employee who has been working in the company for years, say, 5 years, may not be eligible to get maternity benefits if she could not come for work for 80 days during the 12 months immediately preceding the delivery. There are cases wherein woman taking leave right from the second month of pregnancy on leave without pay basis and applying for maternity leave after child birth, with an impression that she has been in service for five years and more. In such case the maternity leave will be rejected saying that during the last 12 months she has not worked.
In order to be eligible for maternity leave the period of service as contractual employee, other than under any outsourcing agency or contractor, will be considered as service. 18th July 2019 From India, Kannur