I have a query regarding qualifying service under the employer for claiming Maternity benefits , as the Act says;
Section 5 (2) "No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefit for a period of not less than eighty days in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery:
Provided that the qualifying period of one hundred and sixty days aforesaid shall not apply to a woman who has immigrated into the State of Assam and was pregnant at the time of the immigration."
Now, if the expecting mother who is working in the establishment have completed more than 80 days but not 12 months of service , will she be entitled for Benefits under the act ? If it is supported with some court rulings or notification will be highly appreciated.
As per the section cited, the date with reference to which the minimum qualifying period of service of 80 days has to be calculated is the expected day of delivery only. Thus the cause of action for the claim of benefit under the Act arises on the expected day of delivery only.
It would automatically imply that the calculation has to be made backwards from the date of reference upon which the cause of action arises.
The preceding 12 months is the maximum time span within which the minimum no of days of qualifying service has to be completed to claim eligibility for maternity benefits under the Act. It doesn't mean that the employee should have been in the service of the establishment during the entire stretch of 12 months period. Where the counting backward stops at the 80th day from the expected day of delivery within the stretch, one need not go beyond that.
This is the method of computing the period of continuous service u/s 25-B of the ID Act,1947 and u/s 2-A of the PG Act,1972 for the calculations of retrenchment benefits and statutory gratuity respectively.
From India, Salem
If you are knowledgeable about any fact, resource or experience related to this topic - please add your views.