The object of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is to protect the dignity of motherhood by providing for the full and healthy maintenance of woman and her child when she is not working. Therefore this Act was passed aiming at a uniform maternity benefit all over the country providing Maternity Leave to all eligible female employees


The Maternity Benefit Act, 19 applies to:

  • Factory, Mines, Plantation, Government Establishment, Exhibition of equestrian, Acrobatics & other performances
  • Shops and establishments with 10 or more person employed
  • By Notification to other establishments, Industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise after giving not less than months’ notice


Every women shall be eligible for maternity benefit when she is expecting a child and has worked for her employer for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery (Section 5)


  • Ten weeks before the date of her expected delivery, she may ask the employer to give her light work for a month. At that time she should produce a certificate that she is pregnant
  • She should give written notice to the employer about seven weeks before the date of her delivery that she will be absent for six weeks before and after her delivery. She should also name the person to whom payment will be made in case she cannot take it herself
  • She should take the payment for the first six weeks before she goes on leave
  • She will get payment for the six weeks after child-birth within 48 hours of giving proof that she has had a child
  • She will be entitled to two nursing breaks of fifteen minutes each in the course of her daily work till her child is fifteen months old
  • Her employer cannot discharge her or change her conditions of service while she is on maternity leave (Section 5)


  • It shall be twenty – six weeks of which not more than eight weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery and the remaining eighteen weeks can be availed after delivery [Section 5(3)]
  • The Section does not, however make it compulsory that the women employee shall necessarily avail eight weeks leave preceding the delivery. It only forbids her not to take more than eight weeks maternity leave if she intends to proceed on leave prior to delivery. It is open to her to avail leave for less number of days also. However the total period of leave admissible to her under the Act is twenty-six weeks


  • Leave with average pay for six weeks before the delivery• Leave with average pay for six weeks after the delivery
  • A medical bonus of Rs. 3500.00 if the employer does not provide free medical care to the woman
  • An additional leave with up to one month if woman shows proof of illness due to pregnancy, delivery, miscarriage or premature birth
  • In case of miscarriage, six weeks leave with average pay from the date of miscarriage


  • Light work for ten weeks (six weeks plus one month) before the date of her expected delivery, if she asks for it
  • Two nursing breaks in course of her daily work until the child is 15 months old
  • No discharge or dismissal while she is on maternity leave
  • No change to her disadvantage in any of the conditions of her employment while no maternity leave
  • Pregnant woman discharged or dismissed may still claim maternity benefit from the employer
  • EXCEPTION: Woman dismissed for gross misconduct lose their right under this Act


  • Leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit, for a period of six weeks immediately following the day of her miscarriage of her medical termination of pregnancy
  • Entitled to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a period of two weeks immediately following the day of her tubectomy operation (Section 9 & 13)


  • A woman suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child (miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation) be entitled, in addition to the period of absence allowed to her leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a maximum period of one month (Section 12)


  • Obtaining shops & establishments registration & License.
  • Renewal of License as per schedule date.
  • Representing with Labour Department authorities on the behalf of the company on case-to-case basis with prior approval of the signing authority.
  • Preparing and submitting the half yearly and annual returns.
  • To maintain records and all registers in relation to the respective Act.
  • Verifying proper compliances of branches.
  • To keep abreast and update the organization about the recent changes of the Act.
  • To act as a proper communication link between the organization and statutory authorities.
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