Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Hr Manager
Sr.manager - Hr&admin

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Hi Everyone, I am working with an IT Company (Head office is based in London) and I am 8 months' pregnant. Today we came to know that company is going through some financial crisis and will be giving notice to majority of people which includes me as well. Though i have put up my point that I am in a situation where i do not have option to look forward, but it's communicated that there is nothing can be done about this. They are going to give notice period of 2 months to everyone as per appointment letter clause. I am in tension that how to go through this phase. What are my rights.... an immediate response will be highly appreciated.

I regret for your current situation. You may challenge the decision of Management if the move of the Management is particularly against you just to avoid maternity leave benefit part. However since the move is common for all and as your employer is serving advance notice as per your employment terms (?) I suggest you may represent your current situation to Top Management and await for their reversion. In case of negative response you may file a case with Inspector Of Labour ( not sure you fall under the purview of Workman category) of your jurisdiction .
As you are in 8 months it would be better you just ignore the current happenings of your employment and keep your mind cool, happy and calm as your baby is important for you than your job and the dispute. Just take things easy.

Hi Lakshminarayanan,
Thanks for your reply, however want to clarify few points.
1. I am employed as HR Manager in this company since May'19.
2. They are firing almost 90% of team which includes me as well and giving notice of 2 months as per the employment agreement. We are a team of 49 people in total.
My concern here is that I can't apply for any job at this time and can't be without financial support due to my pre-defined liabilities.
Would like to have opinion of seniors that can i claim maternity benefit in this situation?

Your maternity benefit claim need not be settled in favour of you. From your explanation, company is downsizing and their interest is to show exit to your employees including you by giving terminal benefits, as applicable and as per your company policy.
But it is advisable to meet your top management personnel and explain personally and share your difficulty so that he can find out some solutions.
With best wishes

Can understand your anguish.
As stated earlier please make a plea to your Top Management. Write a email, attach certificate related to confirmation of pregnancy , brief about your commitments, request them to support. But the probabilities for consideration will be very remote considering your short stint with them. Also another perspective is that when they are winding 90% of the team what will be your role there ?
Be positive and trust all is for well. God may show you a far better opportunity after delivery.
If your employer covered you under Group Mediclaim insurance request them to utilize it at least or personally if you have mediclaim insurance you may use it.
Trust in your talents and be confident that you will be able to get another offer.
Wish you good luck !

Since the poster is admittedly in the managerial cadre, no suggestion other than filing a Civil Suit against her discharge after it takes place can be given. But, even if terminated before delivery, she is certainly entitled to full maternity benefit u/s 12(2)(a) of the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 provided she has intimated the fact of pregnancy with a medical certificate.. It is not clearly known whether the poster has formally informed her employer the fact of her pregnancy. I think the notice is not yet given by the management. She can immediately enter on maternity leave by submitting a formal application with medical proof.
Dear Friend,
As per your posting, you are not entitilled to MB even though pregnant because your pregnency is prior to your employment, your employer may take this plea.
It is better for you, for not putting more stress on mind at this junture and would be better to accept the separation with notice period, if your name borne on separation.
Let concentrate for safe delivery of baby. Well you can have opportunity after this once you free from all these.

Sorry to differ with Mr.Prabat. The employer may take any plea to deny the maternity benefit according to his convenience or misinterpretation of law. In fact, it is the practice of some employers, no doubt; even a Public Sector Undertaking which is supposed to be a " Model Employer ", if I remember correct, once took a plea the employee seeking maternity leave was not a married woman to reject the claim but the Court negatived it. If we analyse section 5 of the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 captioned as " Right to payment of maternity benefits " conjunctively with the the preamble of the Act, we can easily hold that such a defence by the employer is to be dismissed in limine for the effective date from which the right to maternity benefit arises is the expected or actual day of delivery and the eligibility period has to be counted backwards from that effective date only and not onwards from the date of appointment. And particularly, no where the Act states that pregnancy on the date of initial appointment is a disqualification against a later claim for maternity benefit.
Dear Madam, As my personal advise take a break from the company and try to find work from home option. It will good for you and your baby. Regards Your Brother
Thank you everyone for your wise advice and well wishes. @Prabhat - Please note that i was not pregnent at the time of joining this organization and have informed the Sr. Management thorugh email about my pregnancy as well. @Umakanthan - Notice has been given in written by the company to everyone already.
However what I have understood so far from many sources, in such situations Maternity Benefit cann't be claimed.

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