Is ESI compulsory to get maternity benefits?


i am a contract employee in chd admn. likely to go on maternity leave next week. i came to know that since my joining (oct 2015) i was not covered under ESI but now from january 2017 my ESI will be deducted. my due date is in march 2017 and wants to go for 180 days leave. Does ESI affects my maternity benefits??who is responsible for my benefits if i am not covered under ESI?

Answers (1)


50 votes

Woman employee should have minimum 80 working days to her credit in last 12 months counting from start of maternity leave to be eligible for maternity benefits in that organization. This law also stipulates that all working women are entitled for minimum 12 weeks of maternity leave. And at most 6 weeks may be taken before the day of delivery. A CL may not be clubbed with maternity leave otherwise it'll be taken as part of maternity leave. However you can take maternity leave at any time during your leave of any kind.

Large PSUs/Public limited companies, public /private sector banks and larger private sector companies grants maternity leaves to their women employees, varying from 90 days to 180 days. Some organizations also permit their women employees to extent leave upto one year (with or without pay). They even provide the facility to cover expenses during delivery in a good hospital for all employees. Some companies even provide health insurance benefits and other allowances to their women employees. The maternity policy can vary from organization to organization; hence one should enquire from her HR dept. about the maternity benefits provided in HR policy of that company.

Besides, some companies give facilities to their women employees to work from home or allow them to have the facility of flexible working hours. Even some companies especially in IT sector arrange for day care facility in office premises for their employees.

A good HR policy tries to ensure that women employees should not give up their otherwise aspiring career to fulfill their role as a mother. A women becoming the mother fulfills her duties just not for her family but for society as well. But one should be careful not to join office back during maternity leave period as this leave can be taken in one spell at a stretch. The companies which are covered under Employees state Insurance schemes are also obliged to give maternity benefits to their women employees for eg., Women employee cannot be sacked form the job just because she is pregnant or going to become a mother as per maternity benefit act, 1961. Working women can apply to labor court of her area in case maternity benefits are denied by the employer within sixty days from the date of receiving orders. As per maternity benefit act, the employer can be punished under, if he/she denies maternity benefits to women employees and that includes imprisonment for three months or fine up to Rs. 5000/- or both.

As per latest modification in the law the maternity leave can be extended by an organization from present three months to six months of maternity leave. But maternity benefits can be revoked by that organization in case a women employee changes the job during that period. A working women also has right to ask for light jobs during pregnancy for eg., jobs that does not require long standing hours or work in section where hazardous substances are not used as per maternity benefit act.


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