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MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 53 of 1961


  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 53 of 1961

Preamble

THE MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961

[Act, No. 53 of 1961]

[12th December, 1961]

PREAMBLE

An Act to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child-birth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

(2) It extends to the whole of India1[* * *].

(3) It shall come into force on such date2as may be notified in this behalf in the Official Gazette,--

3[(a) in relation to mines and to any other establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrain, acrobatic and other performances, by the Central Government; and]

(b) in relation to other establishments in a State, by the State Government.

1. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 51 of 1970, section 2 and Schedule w.e.f. 1-9-1971.

2. 1st November, 1963: vide Notification No. S.O.2920, dated 5th October, 1963, Gazette of India, Pt. II, section 3, page 3735.

3. Substituted by Act 52 of 1973, section 2 w.e.f. 1-3-1975.


Section 2. Application of Act

1[(1) It applies, in the first instance,--

(a) to every establishment being a factory, mine or plantation including any such establishment belonging to Government and to every establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances;

(b) to every shop or establishment within the meaning of any law for the time being in force in relation to shops and establishments in a State, in which ten or more persons are employed, or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months:]

Provided that the State Government may, with the approval of the Central Government, after giving not less than two months' notice of its intention of so doing, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that all or any of the provisions of this Act shall apply also to any other establishment or class of establishments, industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise.

(2)2[Save as otherwise provided in3[sections 5A and 5B] nothing contained in this Act] shall apply to any factory or other establishment to which the provisions of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, (34 of 1948), apply for the time being.

1. Substituted by Act 61 of 1988 section 2 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

2. Substituted by Act 21 of 1972, section 2, for "Nothing contained in this Act".

3. Substituted by Act 53 of 1976, section 2 w.e.f. 1-5-1976.


Section 3. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "appropriate Government" means, in relation to an establishment being a mine,1 [or an establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances] the Central Government and in relation to any other establishment, the State Government;

(b) "child" includes a still-born child;

(c) "delivery" means the birth of a child;

(d) "employer" means--

(i) in relation to an establishment which is under the control of the Government, a person or authority appointed by the Government for the supervision and control of employees or where no person or authority is so appointed, the head of the department;

(ii) in relation to an establishment under any local authority, the person appointed by such authority for the supervision and control of employees or where no person is so appointed, the chief executive officer of the local authority;

(iii) in any other case, the person who, or the authority which, has the ultimate control over the affairs of the establishment and where the said affairs are entrusted to any other persons whether called a manager, managing director, managing agent, or by any other name, such person;

1 [(e) "establishment" means--

(i) a factory;

(ii) a mine;

(iii) a plantation;

(iv) an establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances; 2 [***]

3 [(iva) a shop or establishment; or]

(v) an establishment to which the provisions of this Act have been declared under sub-section (1) of section 2 to be applicable;]

(f) "factory" means a factory as defined in clause (m) of section 2 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948);

(g) "Inspector" means an Inspector appointed under section 14;

(h) "maternity benefit" means the payment referred to in sub-section (1) of section 5;

4 [(ha) "medical termination of pregnancy" means the termination of pregnancy permissible under the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.];

(i) "mine" means a mine as defined in clause (j) of section 2 of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952);

(j) "miscarriage" means expulsion of the contents of a pregnant uterus at any period prior to or during the twenty sixth week of pregnancy but does not include any miscarriage, the causing of which is punishable under the Indian Penal Code; (45 of 1860);

(k) "plantation" means a plantation as defined in clause (f) of section 2 of the Plantations Labour Act, 1951 (69 of 1951);

(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(m) "State Government" in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator thereof;

(n) "wages" means all remuneration paid or payable in cash to a woman, if the terms of the contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled and includes--

(1) such cash allowances (including dearness allowance and house rent allowance) as a woman is for the time being entitled to;

(2) incentive bonus, and

(3) the money value of the concessional supply of foodgrains and other articles, but does not include--

(i) any bonus other than incentive bonus;

(ii) over-time earnings an any deduction or payment made on account of fines;

(iii) any contribution paid or payable by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund or for the benefit of the woman under any law for the time being in force; and

(iv) any gratuity payable on the termination of service;

(o) "woman" means a woman employed, whether directly or through any agency, for wages in any establishment.

1. Inserted by Act 52 of 1973, section 4 w.e.f. 1-3-1975.

2. Word "or" omitted by Act 61 of 1988, section 3 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

3. Inserted by Act 61 of 1988, section 3 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

4. Inserted by Act 29 of 1995, section 2 w.e.f. 1-2-1996.


Section 4. Employment of or work by, women prohibited during certain periods

(1) No employer shall knowingly employ a woman in any establishment during the six weeks immediately following the day of her delivery,1[miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy].

(2) No woman shall work in any establishment during the six weeks immediately following the day of her delivery2[miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy].

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of section 6, no pregnant woman shall, on a request being made by her in this behalf, be required by her employer to do during the period specified in sub-section (4) any work which is of an arduous nature or which involves long hours of standing, or which is any way is likely to interfere with her pregnancy or the normal development of the foetus, or is likely to cause her miscarriage or otherwise to adversely affect her health.

(4) The period referred to in sub- section (3) shall be--

(a) the period of one month immediately preceding the period of six weeks, before the date of her expected delivery;

(b) any period during the said period of six weeks for which the pregnant woman does not avail of leave of absence under section 6.

1. Substituted by Act 29 of 1995, section 3(a), for "or her miscarriage" w.e.f. 1-2-1996.

2. Substituted by Act 29 of 1995, section 3(b), for "or her miscarriage" w.e.f. 1-2-1996.


Section 5. Right to payment of maternity benefit

1[(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every woman shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence, that is to say, the period immediately preceding and including the day of her delivery, the actual day of her delivery and any period immediately following that day.]

Explanation.-- For the purpose of this sub- section, the average daily wage means the average of the woman's wages payable to her for the days on which she has worked during the period of three calendar months immediately preceding the date from which she absents herself on account of maternity,1[the minimum rate of wage fixed or revised under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (11 of 1948) or ten rupees, whichever is the highest].

(2) No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom the claims maternity benefit, for a period of not less than2[eighty days] in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery:

Provided that the qualifying period of2[eighty day] aforesaid shall not apply to a woman who has immigrated into the State of Assam and was pregnant at the time of the immigration.

Explanation.-- For the purpose of calculating under this sub- section the days on which a woman has actually worked in the establishment,3[the days for which she has been laid off or was on holidays declared under any law for the time being in force to be holiday with wages] during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be taken into account.

3[(3) The maximum period for which any woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall be twelve weeks, of which not more than six weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery:]

Provided that where a woman dies during this periods, the maternity benefit shall be payable only for the days up to and including the day of her death:

3[Provided further that where a woman, having been delivered of a child, dies during her delivery or during the period immediately following the date of her delivery for which she is entitled for the maternity benefit, leaving behind in either case the child, the employer shall be liable for the maternity benefit for that entire period but if the child also dies during the said period, then, for the days up to and including the date of the death of the child.]

1. Substituted by Act 61 of 1988, section 4 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

2. Substituted by Act 61 of 1988, section 4 for "one hundred and sixty days" w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

3. Substituted by Act 61 of 1998, section 4 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.


Section 5A. Continuance of payment of maternity benefit in certain cases

1[5A. Continuance of payment of maternity benefit in certain cases

Every woman entitled to the payment of maternity benefit under this Act shall, notwithstanding the application of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), to the factory or other establishment in which she is employed, continue to be so entitled until she becomes qualified to claim maternity benefit under section 50 of that Act.]

1. Inserted by Act 21 of 1972, section 3.


Section 5B. Payment of maternity benefit in certain cases

1[5B. Payment of maternity benefit in certain cases.--

Every woman--

(a) who is employed in a factory or other establishment to which the provisions of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), apply;

(b) whose wages (excluding remuneration for over-time work) for a month exceed the amount specified in sub-clause (b) of clause (9) of section 2 of that Act; and

(c) who fulfils the conditions specified in sub-section (2) of section 5, Shall be entitled to the payment of maternity benefit under this Act.]

1. Inserted by Act 53 of 1976, section 3 w.e.f. 1-5-1976.


Section 6. Notice of claim for maternity benefit and payment thereof

(1) Any woman employed in an establishment and entitled to maternity benefit under the provisions of this Act may give notice in writing in such form as may be prescribed, to her employer, stating that her maternity benefit and any other amount to which she may be entitled under this Act may be paid to her or to such person as she may nominate in the notice and that she will not work in any establishment during the period for which she receives maternity benefit.

(2) In the case of a woman who is pregnant, such notice shall state the date from which she will be absent from work, not being a date earlier than six weeks from the date of her expected delivery.

(3) Any woman who has not given the notice when she was pregnant may give such notice as soon as possible after the delivery.

1[(4) On receipt of the notice, the employer shall permit such woman to absent herself from the establishment during the period for which she receives the maternity benefit.]

(5) The amount of maternity benefit for the period preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be paid in advance by the employer to the woman on production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman is pregnant, and the amount due for the subsequent period shall be paid by the employer to the woman within forty- eight hours of production of such proof as may be prescribed that the woman has been delivered of a child.

(6) The failure to give notice under this section shall not disentitle a woman to maternity benefit or any other amount under this Act if she is otherwise entitled to such benefit or amount and in any such case an Inspector may either of his own motion or on an application made to him by the woman, order the payment of such benefit or amount within such period as may be specified in the order.

1. Substituted by Act 61 of 1988, section 5 w.e.f. 10-1-1989.


Section 7. Payment of maternity benefit in case of death of a woman

If a woman entitled to maternity benefit or any other amount under this Act, dies before receiving such maternity benefit or amount, or where the employer is liable for maternity benefit under the second proviso to sub-section (3) of section 5, the employer shall pay such benefit or amount to the person nominated by the woman in the notice given under section 6 and in case there is no such nominee, to her legal representative.

Section 8. Payment of medical bonus

2[8. Payment of medical bonus-

(1) Every woman entitled to maternity benefit under this Act shall also be entitled to receive from her employer a medical bonus of one thousand rupees, if no pre-natal confinement and post-natal care is provided for by the employer free of charge.

(2) The Central Government may before every three years, by notification in the Official Gazette, increase the amount of medical bonus subject to the maximum of twenty thousand rupees.]

1. Substituted by Act 61 of 1988, section 6, for "twenty five rupees" w.e.f. 10-1-1989.

2. Substituted by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2008 for the following :-

"Every woman entitled to maternity benefit under this Act shall also be entitled to receive from her employer a medical bonus of1[two hundred and fifty rupees], if no pre- natal confinement and post-natal care is provided for by the employer free of charge."


Section 9. Leave for miscarriage, etc.

1 [9.Leave for miscarriage, etc.--

In case of miscarriage, or medicaltermination of pregnancy, a woman shall, on production of suchproof as may be prescribed, be entitled to leave with wages at the rate ofmaternity benefit, for a period of six weeks immediately followingthe day of her miscarriage or, as the case may be, her medical termination ofpregnancy].

1.Substituted by Act 29 of 1995, sec.4w.e.f. 1-2-1996.


Section 9A. Leave with wages for tubectomy operation

1 [9A. Leave with wages for tubectomy operation

In case of tubectomy operation, a woman shall, on production of such proof as may be prescribed, be 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].

1. Inserted by Act 29 of 1995, section 5 w.e.f. 1-2-1996.


Section 10. Leave for illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child, miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation

Leave for illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child,1[miscarriage, medical termination of pregnancy or tubectomy operation]

A woman suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery; premature birth of child1[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.

1. Substituted by Act 29 of 1995, section 6, for "or miscarriage" w.e.f. 1-2-1996.


Section 11. Nursing breaks

Every woman delivered of a child who returns to duty after such delivery shall, in addition to the interval for rest allowed to her, be allowed in the course of her daily work two breaks of the prescribed duration for nursing the child until the child attains the age of fifteen months.