Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Hr Executive

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Dear all, my establishment comes under Andhra pradesh shops and establishment act 1988 and specified the following sections regarding maternity benefit.
24. Maternity leave.- The periods of absence from duty in respect of which a women employee is entitled to maternity benefit under section 25, shall be treated as authorized absence from duty, and the women employee shall be entitled to maternity benefit, but not to any wages for any of those periods.
25. Maternity benefit.- Every woman who has been for a period of not less than six months preceding the date of her delivery in continuous employment of the same employer whether in the same or different shops or commercial establishments, shall be entitled to receive from her employer for the period of-
(a) six weeks immediately preceding the day of delivery; and
(b) six weeks following the day of delivery; such maternity benefit and in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that, no woman employee shall be entitled to receive such benefit for any day during any of the aforesaid periods, on which she attends work and receive wages thereof.
Now , my doubt is A woman salary is 8000/- monthly. the following are my questions.
1. How much will she get as a maternity benefit.( please give calculation )
2. What is the difference in the statement "the women employee shall be entitled to maternity benefit, but not to any wages for any of those periods."

The AP Shops ....Act is applicable to establishments in which even one employee is working. In an organisation where only one employee is working it is not possible to insist granting of leaves with wages due to pregnancy or child birth other than the casual leave or earned leaves as applicable. If your establishment has less than ten employees, you need not give 26 weeks maternity leave to any of your (woman) employee. But once the Maternity Benefit Act becomes applicable to you, you will be under an obligation to give 26 weeks leave with salary and medical bonus as per the Maternity Benefits Act.
In case you employ 10 or more employees (men and women put together) your establishment will come under the coverage of Maternity Benefit Act. In respect of employees who are covered by ESI Act, the liability of payment of 26 weeks salary will be taken care by the ESI Corporation. If your company is not covered by ESI Act or if the employee is not under ESI scheme(it will never happen because an employee whose salary is Rs 8000 should be under ESI) then you will have to pay Rs 8000 every month, as if she is working, for 26 weeks. Moreover, the other provisions regarding restrictions of employment in hazardous activity while she is pregnant and granting of additional rest periods after her resuming work in order to feed her child should also be followed.
There is no further calculation of salary. What she was getting immediately before proceeding for maternity leave should be paid to her.
The Shops...Act says maternity leave days should not be treated as break in service but the leave days should be taken as approved leaves even though it is unpaid.

ok sir, thank you for your valuable response and i have another doubt. when can we pay this maternity benefit to her .? is it before the delivery or after the delivery.?
Out of 26 weeks leave, 12 weeks leave shall precede the date of delivery. If she takes 12 weeks leave before child birth/delivery, salary for that period should be paid before delivery, on monthly basis and remaining in post delivery period of leave.
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