Hello Dear Friends !

Can you help me with a query that my management has-

Is it MANDATORY to provide maternity benefits in a private organisation ?

If there are no paid leaves given, rather the company gives some benefits like group mediclaim covering maternity, then will it suffice ?

Can there be any legal implications from employees if the above is done ?

Kindly let me know.


Barnali Sengupta

From India, Kolkata
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Master Consultant
Hr Freelancer

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Dear Barnali,

Once the Maternity Benefit Act,1961 becomes applicable to any establishment as defined u/s 2(1) of the Act and the employee becomes eligible to maternity benefit as per section 5 (1) of the Act, it is mandatory to provide the benefits stipulated under the Act. Though the term " maternity benefit " has been defined u/s 3 (h) of the Act with reference to the payment mentioned u/s 5 (1) , it is imperative for every employer to understand it in a wholistic manner which would demand the conferment of all other employment concessions mentioned therein.

Moreover, your group medical insurance, to the best of my understanding, would cover only hospitalisation expenses incurred due to delivery, medical termination of pregnancy or miscarriage but not the payment of wages/salary for the period of absence.

There are other restrictions/benefits enumerated u/s 4, 9, 9-A,10,11 and 12.

As I am only able to understand that the group medical insurance facility extended by your management is just an additional benefit, it cannot empower your management to take away the statutory benefits under the Act.

From India, Salem

Dear CiteHR member Ms Barnali Sengupta,

Thanks to Mr Umakanthan M. for commenting with reference to different Sections of the MB Act 1961. However, some few points need to be added for which I respectfully seek his kind permission.

My observations for Ms Barnali would be that she, as a querist, should always attempt to give complete information i.e. the company/factory/establishment in respect of which she has posted the question. It is imperative to know whether it is a factory which is covered by ESI Act 1948, if yes, then MB Act 1961 would not be applicable in terms of Section 2(2) of the MB Act.

2. Yes, MB Act 1961 is mandatory if your establishment employs 10 or more workers at any time during a year. And it is mandatory to give paid leaves for 26 weeks under MB Amendment Act 2017.

3. Group Mediclaim policy is not a substitute to the benefits under MB Act, because wages are payable during the prescribed period of 26 weeks. It would count as an additional benefit given by the company towards the hospitalization expenses only.

Hope this supplements the comments of Mr Umakanthan ji and also answers your query. For any other clarification you are always welcome to post individual query to me or on the forum.

You are also requested to validate the comments of contributing experts if you find them useful and adding to your knowledge.

With best wishes
Chandra Mani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant 9315516083

New Delhi/27.01.2022/11:06 pm

From India, New Delhi

Dear sir, I have one question, regrading Maternity benefits 1 Medical bonus is mandatory or not ?
From India, Bangalore

Hope the above responses of our senior colleagues gave a clear picture. Once the MB Act applies all the terms are applicable.
From India, Hyderabad

Dear CiteHR member Shri Ashoka ji,

Re: Payment of Medical Bonus to beneficiaries under Maternity Benefit Act 1961

The question posted by you is a public utility query of which every female employee/worker (including contract worker) should be aware of.

It may be noted that Section 8 of the MB Act 1961 makes it mandatory that an employer shall pay to every woman entitled to maternity benefit an amount of Rs.3500/- (Rupees Three thousand five hundred ) if no pre natal confinement or post natal care is provided by the employer free of charge. This is in terms of Gazette Notification no. SO2831(E) dated 19/12/2011 of Central Govt.

Hope this answers your query and it will be knowledge addition to all female employees.

If there is any other Central Govt. or State Govt. notification, the same be be brought on the platform of this forum to add to eveyone's knowledge.

Regards and with best wishes to all,
Chandra Mani Lal Srivastava
Master Consultant 9315516083

New Delhi/28.01.2022/7:20 pm

From India, New Delhi

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