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Madhu.T.K1. The company need not have to apply for coverage of any Act like Payment of Gratuity Act or Maternity Benefits Act. If your company has 10 employees then obviously, your establishment comes under these Act.
Failure to pay gratuity to any 'eligible' employee will attract penalty as prescribed under these Acts.
An employee is eligible to be paid gratuity at the time of his leaving the company after rendering a service of not less than five years. The amount of gratuity is equal to 15 days salary for every completed year of service.
Similarly, a woman employee who has worked at least for 80 days during a period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of delivery is to be given maternity leave WITH PAY for 26 weeks. If she already has two children this leave shall be reduced to 12 weeks. In addition to this a medical bonus of Rs 3500 is required to be given to her provided the employer is not giving any pre and post natal assistance to her.
2. No, you cannot have an agreement which is against the law. The law says that you should give 26 weeks leave with salary to a woman employee and you cannot contract it out with LOP/LWP.
From India, Kannur