Maternity Leave in India has improved considering the current scenario where women are dominantly part of any business setup. Pregnancy is a phase in life; many families assume to happen to them soon. Many families plan on pregnancy and childbirth. However, joyous and moving the pregnancy is, for working women, the businesses prevail.

India has already transitioned to a nuclear family approach; it is challenging to have help from home. Moreover, couples have shifted from their hometowns for corporate jobs across different locations. The concern with starting a family and transitioning the pregnancy process is a phase that brings many questions. However, working couples, as well as expectant mothers, should know the Maternity Leave.

Some of the Common Concerns of Expecting Mothers Are:

  • Will I lose my job because of the pregnancy?
  • Will I be able to work for the whole tenure of my pregnancy?
  • In case my pregnancy is complicated, and I am unable to work, how will I manage my expenses during pregnancy?
  • Will I be able to live up to my professional standards being pregnant and bearing a child?
  • What are the benefits I enjoy from the government and my employer as a pregnant employee?
  • Are maternity leave paid in India?
  • What is the maternity leave for adopting a child?
  • As a pregnant mother, do I have the provision of working from home?
  • How will I manage the day-care facilities for my new-born?

A lot of apprehensions and dilemmas have led to many women employees losing out on their rightful share. Some women employees even quit jobs as critical health does not allow them to continue working during the pregnancy period.

The government supports the Maternity Leave strongly. A woman can now avail of all the significant benefits and have a well-informed decision on her pregnancy and maternity leave. The Maternity Leave is to be adopted by all the Employers not engaged with ESI already (ESI is another self-insured policy). This mandate is set to benefit the women pregnant fraternity for securing their jobs as well as having a peaceful time with family in the happiest phase of their life.

What is the Maternity Leave?

Maternity leave in India” is a paid leave of absence from work that allows women employees the benefit of taking care of their newly born, and at the same time retain their jobs.

Simply put, maternity leave is a paid leave where all the pregnant working professional gets paid. This leave is mandatory and is given to all pregnant ladies so that they get to take care of their newborns along with retaining their current job. In terms of eligibility, a woman should have worked with the current company for a minimum of 80 days to be eligible to apply for maternity leave in the last 12 months.

As per the Maternity leave benefit Act 1961, all the women employees will get paid leaves of 12 weeks to 36 weeks, and the payment for these paid leaves will be calculated on average daily wage for the number of days she will be absent. She can apply for the leave only in her eight weeks before the due date. In case this is your third child, the maximum number of paid leaves allotted to you will be 12 weeks, which will be divided into six weeks pre-pregnancy and six weeks after pregnancy.

The Challenges

The survey shows that male employees dominate the majority of employment across India. The employers are apprehensive of recruiting women employees as compared to men, considering the impending and obliging costs they have to incur hiring a female employee vis-à-vis a male employee.

Pregnancy is a natural process, and the intellect or working potential of women employees will not disappear to the phase. As a developing nation, where we promote education for the girl child, maternity benefits should be considered seriously and implemented in all organizations with total support from the government.

About the Author

James is a well-known writer and Entrepreneur. He has instrumental in developing PulseHRM, the most advanced time and attendance software and named best software in HR category by