Maternity Benefit Act, Employer Compliance under the maternity benefit Act, Maternity Benefits Amendment Act, 2017, Maternity Benefits, Ebizfiling

A guide to Employer Compliance under the maternity benefit Act  

Maternity benefit Act: Employer Compliance under the maternity benefit Act


The Indian Constitution mandates gender equality in the workplace, but it is not practically implemented because the majority of women are obliged to leave their occupations in order to have children and take care of them before and after birth. To remedy this issue, the government passed the Maternity Benefit Act, which every employer is required to abide by. However, many firms face retaliatory actions if they do not adhere to this Act’s requirements. This article describes employer compliance under the Maternity Benefit Act to assist employers in comprehending the appropriate compliance criteria and avoiding any fines resulting from non-compliance.

Insights on Maternity Benefits

During pregnancy or after giving birth, a woman is entitled to benefits from her work. The Maternity Benefit Act governs the provisions pertaining to it. Every employer is required to abide by the rules set forth in this Act. In the first six weeks following a woman’s delivery, the employer is not permitted to hire any women in the establishment, and no women are permitted to work in any establishment during this time.

Maternity Benefits Amendment Act, 2017

The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act went into effect on April 3, 2017 in order to encourage women’s labour force participation, maintain a work-life balance in the organisational sector, and protect the employment of expectant mothers. The following are the major employer compliance requirements under the amended Act:

  • Increase the length of maternity leave to 26 weeks.
  • Twelve-week maternity leave for commissioning and adopting mothers.
  • Women have the option of working from home.
  • Daycare Service.
  • Maternity Benefits Education.

Employer Compliance under the maternity benefit Act

The employer’s adherence to the payment of maternity benefits is re-enlisted below:

  • Every employer is required to pay maternity leave at the rate of the average daily wage for the time period of her actual absence. However, if the woman has not worked in the employer’s establishment for 80 days in the 12 months preceding her expected delivery date, the obligation for such payment is waived.
  • The government amended the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 to increase the length of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • The above-mentioned time period does not apply to a woman who immigrated from Assam and was pregnant at the time of her departure.
  • If a woman dies during or after her delivery, leaving a child, the employer must pay the maternity benefit for the entire period; however, if the child dies along with the mother during the said period, the payment must include the date of the child’s death.
  • If a woman legally adopts a child under the age of three months, the commissioning or adopting mother is entitled to maternity benefits for a period of 12 weeks from the date the child is given to the commissioning or adopting mother, as the case may be.
  • Every employer is only required to pay benefits for the days leading up to and including the day of her death.
  • The employer must allow women to work from home if the nature of the work requires it in order for the woman and the employer to take advantage of the maternity benefit for the period and under the conditions mutually agreed upon by the woman and the employer.

Penalties for Non-compliance with Laws

  • Penalty for interference in the work of Inspector

Any person who refuses to produce the required record of registers and prevents or conceals any person from appearing or being examined by the inspector will face imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to five hundred rupees, or both.

  • Penalty for employers who violate the Act

In the event that the employer violates the provisions of the Act, he may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of 500 rupees, or both. If there is a violation involving benefits, their payment, or any other payment related to the same, and the amount has not already been recovered, the court has the authority to recover the amount of such maternity benefit or the amount as a fine and pay it to the entitled person.

Bottom Line

Employer compliance under the Maternity Benefit Act can benefit both the employer and the working women by assisting the employer in avoiding the risks and penalties associated with non-compliance, as well as providing job security and work-life balance for pregnant working women. Work from home, creche facilities, payment of maternity benefits, leaves, and other relevant provisions aid in the development of a solid culture for individuals in society.


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Author: zarana-mehta

Zarana Mehta is an MBA in Finance from Gujarat Technology University. Though having a masters degree in Business Administration, her upbeat and optimistic approach for changes led her to pursue her passion i.e. Creative writing. She is currently working as Content Writer at Ebizfiling.

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