is a beautiful experience. And for working women it
means lot of preparation and arrangements. Many big
companies like hiring only unmarried women because they
cannot afford to give leave and adjust the workload.
However a woman is entitled in law also to get maternity
leave. However, in the workforce the word pregnancy
means that management will need to come up with a back
up plan in order to keep business going as usual during
your long leave.
The first most important thing is that you should inform
your boss about the good news. Ideally, your employer
should hear about your pregnancy directly from you.
Inform your boss so that your absence can well be adjusted
without any complications. Show them that your job means
a lot to you. There are many decisions to make right
now. One of them is to determine how who will complete
your job duties while you are on leave. Your dedication
to your employer will shine through if you take an active
role in implementing a plan. One way could be by analyzing
your job responsibilities and finding ways on how they
could be divided among colleagues while you're away.
This will not only help your employer in dealing with
this situation with your active help and co-operation
but it will also make you relax and feel that you have
made your sincere contribution.
Get your info early
It is a good idea to make sure that you have answers
to all of your queries as early as possible. You may
end up on early bed rest or your baby may arrive early.
Plan ahead. If you feel that you are not receiving sufficient
information from your employer, ask your human resources
department to administer all the information you will
need to know about your upcoming maternity leave. Do
not settle for incomplete or inconsistent information.
Show your concern
Assure your employer or colleagues who have taken on
your job that you are always available at home if they
are in difficulty. Be available to answer any questions
that your colleagues may have about your job duties.
Call your place of employment from home often to inquire
if your telephone advice is needed. Check in with your
boss to exhibit that you are still an active part of
the team. Always be updated about office info, it will
keep you informed and ready to resume your duties when
you're back at work without any difficulty.
Law has been enacted to help women get the different
kinds of benefits from their employers during the leave
period. Pregnancy is a precious time in a woman's life,
and it is common for the overwhelming excitement to
override all other priorities. And for that women neither
have to resign from your job nor do you have to be without
pay for taking leave. The law gives every right to a
woman to go on maternity leave without getting her salary
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
The Central Government passed the Maternity Benefit
Act in 1961 which extends to the whole of India and
applies to every establishment belonging to the government
and to every establishment which may be industrial,
commercial, agricultural or otherwise.
The Act prohibits the working of pregnant women for
a specified period before and after delivery. It also
provides for maternity leave and payment of certain
monetary benefits for women workers during the period
when they are out of employment on account of their
pregnancy. The services of a woman employee cannot be
terminated during the period except for gross misconduct.
The maximum period for which a woman can get maternity
benefit is 12 weeks. Of this, 6 weeks must be taken
prior to the date of delivery of the child and 6 weeks
immediately following the date. To be entitled to maternity
leave however, a woman must have actually worked for
not less than 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding
the day of her expected delivery. Only working days
are to be taken into account while calculating these
80 days. Weekly holidays and all leave-paid or unpaid
be deemed as working days.
A notice must be given in writing stating the date of
absence from work and also a certificate of pregnancy
to avail of the facility of 6 weeks leave before the
expected delivery. The employer has to pay the maternity
benefit in advance for this period to the concerned
employee or any person nominated for this purpose.
For the 6 weeks leave from the date of delivery, another
notice must be sent together with a certificate of delivery
after the child is born. The employer has to pay to
the employee or her nominee maternity benefit within
48 hours of receiving this notice. The failure to give
notice for the subsequent 6 weeks does not however disentitle
a woman from the maternity benefit.
In case of miscarriage, a woman is entitled to 6 weeks
leave with pay from the day of miscarriage. She is required
to give notice together with a certificate of miscarriage.
For illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature
birth or miscarriage, a woman employee can take extra
leave up to a maximum period of one month. A medical
certificate will have to be provided. With a view to
encourage planned parenthood, the Act provides for 6
weeks leave with wages in case of medical termination
of pregnancy, grant of leave with wages for a maximum
period of 1 month in case of illnesses arising of MTP
or tubectomy. 2 weeks leave with wages to women employees
who undergo tubectomy. A woman employee can ask for
light work for one month preceding the 6 weeks prior
to her delivery or during these 6 weeks. An employer
cannot reduce the salary on account of light work assigned
to her or breaks taken to nurse her child. Further she
cannot be discharged or dismissed on grounds of absence
arising out of pregnancy or miscarriage, delivery or
premature birth. Nor can her service conditions be altered
to her disadvantage during this period.
An employer is prohibited from knowingly employing any
woman in any establishment during the 6 weeks immediately
following the day of her delivery or her miscarriage.
Likewise, a woman is prohibited from working in any
establishment during this period of 6 weeks.
However, a woman employee can be deprived of maternity
benefit if after going for maternity leave, she works
in another establishment during the period she's supposed
to be on leave, or during the period for her pregnancy,
she is dismissed for any prescribed gross misconduct.