Anonymous
I have been working for a private IT company for the past 6 months. After 1 month of my joining, I have conceived and informed my HR. I am now done with my probation period i.e 6 months but they dint confirm me yet saying performance issues. I am planning to go on maternity leave now from next month. Can you please let me know is it legal they can terminate me now? and can I avail my maternity benefits??

Request you to please help me with this

From India, Hyderabad
When a woman employee has officially informed the fact of her pregnancy to her employer, it is unlawful for the employer to dispense with her service for whatever reason anytime during her pregnancy as per sec. 12(2)(a) of the Maternity Benefit Act,1961. Such an act of the employer cannot deprive her of the maternity benefits under the Act.

Therefore, the poster can opt to go in for maternity leave subject to the condition of not earlier than 8 weeks before the expected date of delivery.

From India, Salem
To claim the maternity benefit you have to fulfill the eligibility criteria first as per MB Act / ESI act.
From India, Pune
As per section 5 (2) of The Maternity Benefits Act Every woman employee who has worked in the establishment for a period of at least 80 days in the 12 months preceding date of expected delivery is entitled to receive Maternity Benefit. In your case since you have already worked for 6 months before the date of delivery you are very well entitled to maternity benefit even if you are under probation.

Also as per section 12 of the The Maternity Benefits Act it shall be unlawful for the employer to discharge or dismiss a women employee during the period of her maternity period.

From India, Chennai
Dear madam,

Your eligibility and entitlements under the MB Act, have been clarified by the learned colleagues.

You are still in employment and fear that the company may terminate your services which is not yet happened.

The Act prohibits termination of eligible woman employee while she is availing the benefits under it with due intimation. While your confirmation is still not done, you can proceed on MB leave by following proper procedure.

There is no cause of action yet and revert to this forum if action as feared by you is taken by the company which will be bound to be illegal.

Regards,

Vinayak Nagarkar

HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Your employer will say that you are not eligible to claim MB as not fall under the criteria because your pregnancy happened prior completion of 80 days working under technical ground.

You can go on leave but the period of leave shall be treated as absent. It may so happen as apprehended by you, your company may ask to resign for this reason or any action they may feel proper for the reason. It would be better you should stay calm during this period for a safe delivery without wandering your mind elsewhere.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Colleague,

I don't believe MB Act disqualifies a woman employee from getting benefits if she gets pregnant after 30 days of joining. The eligibility for the benefits under the Act stipulated is the woman employee should have worked for 80 days during preceding 12 months. The poster has fulfilled this condition precedent and hopefully the employer understands his obligation.

Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Sorry, Prabhatji, the employer cannot take such a defence to deny the poster her statutory maternity benefits. If the provisions of section 5(2) of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is carefully analysed, the reference date for determining the no of days of minimum qualifying completed service of 80 days by the woman is only the date of her expected delivery and not the date of her joining. It is also immaterial whether she was pregnant on the date of her joining.

That apart, the fact of the matter is that the poster is still in service as a probationer. Therefore, she can enter on maternity leave subject to the condition I mentioned earlier. Even the employer discharges her boldly, such a discharge, being illegal, cannot deprive her the maternity benefits.

From India, Salem

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