Complication in pregnancy in 2nd month and denial of maternity leave
I recently joined a MNC and its been 2 months I have been working there. I am in training and recently got to know that I am pregnant and I was on leave for 15 days as my health is not keeping well. Yesterday I had a scan done and the doctor has advised me bed rest atleast for a month. I had a word with my management and wanted to apply for a maternity leave itself however the management has informed me that the matermity leave can only be applied 12 weeks prior to the delivey date and was also advised to quit the company and re-join post delivery. I have no intentions to quit the organisation at the same time I dont want to take up any risks as this is my second pregnancy. I had a miscarriage previously in the 7th month cause of which I am still having some health complications. Please advise what to do next.
The new amendment act aims at increasing the maternity leave benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two childs. But unfortunately the new Bill is still not an Act yet i.e. it has not come for enforcement yet. It needs an assent from the president and then a subsequent notification in the official gazette of India. This has still not taken place. So, till the new act is out in the market – the misery continues and the pregnant women are only entitled to the said 12 weeks of maternity leave (as under the Act of 1961). It all depends upon the mutual settlement between the employee and the employer (for now).
A private company does not work on a set pattern or defined rules for all its employees. Nothing is stereotyped. According to them, situation changes rule changes. There is not much that can be done legally against them because of the contracts which they make their employees sign. These contracts contains a waiver of all such responsibilities and shows the willingness of the employee signing the contract, saying that I am ready to accept all the conditions posed by the company.
Send them a written application seeking for Maternity Leave either through a registered post or by way of an e-mail. You need to have a record of giving them a prior intimation for adverse conditions that might turn up in future. Section 6 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 also provides for the same.
The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 provides for certain aid :-
After the woman has availed her maternity benefit, it is at the discretion of the employer to allow the woman to work from home – if the work is of such a nature which can be done from home. There is a provision under Section 10 of the act which talks about the leave for sickness arising out of pregnancy for a period of 1 month. By way of an application, you can inform the labour commissioner about such a happening in the workplace – when the employer doesn’t allow you that 1 month leave.
All the above said and done, your claim over the maternity leave accrues only after serving atleast 12 months of employment in the desired workplace – essential condition as per Section 5 of the act. Our advice would be to take the offer, if your employer is allowing you to re-join the company post-delivery. Because leaves, pension, actions taken without prior notice – are certain cons of working in a private company as against the government industry. Looking at your previous record with pregnancy and health complications, you should not stress it out.
 A woman suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child [miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation] shall, on production of such proof as may be prescribed, be entitled in addition to the period of absence allowed to her under section 6 or, as the case may be, under section 9, to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit for a maximum period of one month.
 No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefit, for a period of not less than 3[eighty days] in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery:
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