Hi All, We are a start up company. One of our employees is pregnant. As we heard the rule regarding 6 months paid leave (maternity leave) and we are a very small company and not sure how would we be able to pay her salary for 6 months? Is anyone else in the same boat? I am really sorry I am putting this up in the forum. We want to support her, but we don't have money.
In the USA, maternity leave supported by short-term disability insurance, but here I am not sure how will we support her?

From India, Bengaluru

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In case the employee has completed at least an 80-days employment period in the last 12 months she is eligible for maternity leave under the Maternity Benefits (Amendments) Act, 2017 to apply for the benefits. This being the statutory position, there is no permissible way to sidestep it.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Ashish,

As you are well aware laws are promulgated to maintain order and discipline in the society. Society can be segregated into social groups or communities. Thus industrial community is a distinct social group comprising of employers and employees. As such separate laws are required to regulate their relations as well as conditions of employment including social security of the employees. Hence the labor laws on the various aspects of employment for hire or reward and the necessity of their total compliance by all the employer's whether small or large.

The Maternity Benefit Act,1961 is a beneficial legislation to women employees in recognition of their motherhood. The Act already considers the smallness of the establishments and grants a statutory concession by prescribing a threshold in respect of the total no of employees employed in certain types of establishments for the applicability of the Act. When your establishment already escapes the ambit of the concession for obvious reasons, it is immaterial whether yours is a start-up or otherwise when the need for compliance arises. When the expected date of delivery of a woman falls after her rendering a minimum service of 80 days in your establishment, she becomes entitled to all the maternity benefits under the Act. Thus the entitlement is a consequence of her past service rendered in your organization.

Therefore, the practical difficulty you have expressed has to be simply glossed over only for statutory maternity Benefit forms an essential part of the cost of employment to the establishment when the services of the womenfolk are required and hired.

From India, Salem
Dear Ashish Gupta,

India is a part and parcel of the capitalistic world. Capitalism thrives on profit. However, in addition to making a profit, businesses are expected to bear some social responsibility also. Governments around the world enact legislation to provide social security to workers. Businesses bear the cost of social security either fully or partially.

The government of India has enacted Maternity Benefit Act to provide social security to women employees. Whether on account of maternity benefit or otherwise, business owners while making a business plan for their business, are expected to visualise all the costs arising out of social security. If some business owner fails to make adequate provisions for these costs then it is the individual business owners fault.

For many business owners, the labour laws are eyesores. Businesspersons should never grow their business with the imaginary pain of the eyesore. Else they develop a tendency to give short shrift to the labour laws. Their fixation on finding loopholes in the labour laws does more harm than good as it casts a shadow on the objective of the business itself.

Additional Note: - A specific reply to the poster's query has been given already by the learned members. My reply is on a broad level and to understand the meaning of my post, the members require not just seniority but a learned mind as well. If some senior does not understand then the member need not start casting comebacks!

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Maternity Benefit must be extended to her if MB Act applicable to your establishment. This is a legal provision and it needs to be complied as per the statue.
If the employee is an ESIC member, then MB benefit can be availed from the ESIC department subject to contribution of 70 days in the preceding two contribution period.
For applicability of ESIC and MB Act, minimum 10 employees needs to be employed.
Thanks

From India, Bhubaneswar
Dear Dinesh Divekar,
Your answer on a BROADER LEVEL has been understood and appreciated.
To understand what you have written, I do not see any requirement of Seniority for the reader. It is clear and understandable.
A learned mind does the job!!
Thanks,
Sriharsha Potnuri

From India, Mumbai
Dear Ashis,

There is nothing separate prescribed in the act for start up or new company. Your employee is eligible for the benefit that envisaged for pregnant employee, if your company fall under the canopy of the act.

How would you be able to pay her salary for 6 months being a small company is the question? You pay her considering that she is on duty. Though you think is a valid question but this is not justified under law. You can not ignore the rights of the employee under the act which is not only valid but justified.

You have to act according to the law, which can help the organization in legal front. You need to discuss how best you can support her to find a solution.

From India, Mumbai
There are no exceptions to compliance to any social benefit legislation. Maternity benefit Act is made for the large benefit of wowmen and their economic nand social uplift so you need to comply with the provisions of the Act and extend the maternity benefit to het
From India, Chennai

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