LEGAL DOSE Details
MATERNITY BENEFIT : RIGHTS OF WORKING WOMEN UNDER MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT 1961 WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO AMENDMENT OF 2016
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. In order to protect the working women and her soon to be born child, the law makes provision for maternity benefit (Maternity Benefit Act 1961) so that the women can play both her productive and reproductive role efficiently.
MATERNITY BENEFIT AND INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Article 15(3) State to make special provisions for women and children
Article 39(e) health and strength of workers both men and women are not abused
Article 42 requires that the State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief
Article 46 right to improvement in employment opportunities and conditions of the working women
Who entitled to Maternity Benefit?
Every woman employee, who has actually worked for a period of at least 80 days during the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery, is entitled to receive maternity benefit.
How does one can claim maternity benefit?
A woman employee is required to give her employer notice in writing asking for maternity leave and benefit. The notice may be given during the pregnancy or as soon as possible, after the delivery.
RIGHTS OF WORKING WOMEN UNDER MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT 1961 WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO AMNENDMENT OF 2016
- Duration of maternity leave -Now every woman will be entitled to maternity benefit of 26 weeks.
- Maternity benefit prior to expected delivery – This maternity benefit should not be availed before 8 weeks from the date of expected delivery
- Maternity benefit for a woman having two or more children – If a woman has two or more children, the maternity benefit will continue to be 12 weeks, which cannot be availed before 6 weeks from the date of the expected delivery.
- Maternity benefit to adopting mother and commissioning mother – Now a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of three months or a commissioning mother shall be entitled to maternity benefit for a period of 12 weeks from the date the child is handed over to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother.
- Crèche facility – Every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. The woman will be allowed four visits to the crèche in a day. This will include the interval of rest allowed to her.
- Option to Work from Home- An employer may permit a woman to work from home. This would apply if the nature of work assigned to the woman permits her to work from home. This option can be availed of, after the period of maternity leave, for a duration that is mutually decided by the employer and the woman.
- Informing women employees of the right to maternity leave – Every establishment to intimate a woman at the time of her appointment of the maternity benefits available to her.
PENALITIES FOR CONTRAVENTION OF THE ACT BY EMPLOYER
For failure to pay maternity benefit, the penalty is imprisonment up to one year and fine up to Rs. 5000. The minimum being 3 months and Rs. 2000 respectively
COGNIZANCE OF OFFENCE UNDER THE ACT
Complaint must be filed within 1 year from the date of commission of an offence. Only the court of metropolitan magistrate or magistrate of first class or above shall try any offence under this Act.