Employment Rights of a Pregnant Woman
Pregnancy is a special period in a woman’s life and one needs to take good care of herself during this period. These days, many women are working during pregnancy. Today we will focus here brief information about the employment rights of a pregnant woman.
And all the organizations provide maternity benefits to their women employees. Although the leave policy varies for each organization, most organizations offer maternity leave of 3 months.
It is important that every woman is aware of laws related to maternity benefits that every organization is bound to comply with. Maternity Leave Law protects the rights of women to maternity leaves.
Pregnant women do not need to resign from a job or go on leave without pay. In 1961 Central Government of India passed the Maternity Benefit Act, which holds good for each and every institution in India. This applies to any woman who is working in India.
As per the Maternity Leave Law, a working woman is entitled to take 12 weeks of leave. Out of these 12 weeks, 6 weeks of leave must be taken before the delivery of the baby and other 6 weeks immediately after the baby’s birth.
The woman employee should meet requirements to be eligible for maternity leave:
- A woman must have worked for not less than 80 days within 12 months before the expected date of delivery, in order to be eligible for the leave.
- One should give written notice to the employer for the leave along with the certificate of pregnancy, for 6 weeks before delivery.
- Similarly, another notice should be given along with certificate of delivery for the 6 weeks after delivery leave.
During this leave period, one would receive a maternity benefit at an average daily wage which is calculated based on the wages during the three months just before the date one goes on leave.
The employer is required to pay the maternity benefit in advance for the first 6 weeks of leave taken before the delivery.
In the case of miscarriage, a woman has the right to take 6 weeks of leave from the day of miscarriage. She is entitled to get paid during this 6 weeks, similar to leave without pay during normal pregnancy. She is required to send a notice along with a certificate of miscarriage.
One can avail one extra month of leave if she faces any illness during pregnancy, or during delivery or premature birth or miscarriage, and should submit a medical certificate in such a case.
One can also request less workload (without any reduction in salary) before going on leave. A woman cannot be dismissed from her job on account of pregnancy neither can there be any reduction in salary.