Hello, My wife is employed with an NGO. She is pregnant but her employers have refused maternity benefits because she is on contract and not on the company payroll. Is this a valid reason for refusing maternity benefits?

Dear Balaji, Please confirm how long is she working under the contractor’s payroll and what is her gross salary? Is she covered under ESI? Thanks, Dinesh Divekar
From India, Bangalore
She has been working as a contractor for 4 months now and doesn't have an esi deduction in her salary. Sorry won't be able to disclose her salary but what is its significance in the context of this question?

Dear Balaji,

I wish you had understood the difference between the terms like "contractor" and a "contract employee". The purpose of asking the length of the employee's tenure in the company was to assess the applicability of the Maternity Benefit Act. The purpose of asking for the gross salary was to assess the applicability of the ESI Act, 1948.

Anyway, since you ask for an explanation on the purpose of the questions, better not to say anything further or ask anything further. You may search this forum to get the right answer. Such queries have been raised earlier a good number of times.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Balaji,

Maternity benefit is a statutory right of a woman employee under the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 irrespective of the capacity or status of employment such as regular, fixed-term contract, contract labor or temporary and the amount of salary/wages subject to the conditions of the establishment being one falling within section 2 (1) of the Act and her completion of 80 days of service in the establishment during the preceding 12 months period from the date of her expected delivery. Since she is not covered under the ESI Act,1948 for whatever reasons, her entitlement to maternity benefit under the Act is clear.

From India, Salem

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