Maternity benefit act – Meaning, Applicability & Benefits
16 minutes read

Maternity benefit act – Meaning, Applicability & Benefits

Hello, in this post you will have a quick guide to the Maternity Benefit Act. We will cover the following:

What is Maternity Benefit Act?

Maternity leave laws are needed in any legal framework to protect the rights of women employees. These rights include pay, compassion, and certain privileges from the employer for the pregnant employee.

The Act also includes the education of women employees on their maternity benefits and rights at the workplace.

The maternity policy varies from one company to another, so you need to inquire from their respective HR department for the details.
Some organizations give facilities to their women employees to work from home or arrange for a daycare facility in office premises for their employees.


What is maternity leave?

Maternity Leave is paid leave provided to female employees during the late stage of pregnancy and after delivery to care for themselves and the newborn for a certain duration.

Rules for Maternity Leave

Following are the rules of maternity leave which is applicable to employers –

  • During the maternity leave duration of a female employee, the employer must make full payment to the employee. The salary will be calculated based on the actual amount of the salary in the prior 3 months of her maternity leave request.
  • A pregnant employee is entitled to proper safe drinking water, hygiene workplace, a restroom, and sitting arrangements.
  • During the 6 weeks from her delivery or miscarriage, an employer should not employ a female employee.
  • To ensure the safety of pregnant employees, an employer can not ask for too much work or long working hours (more than 8 hrs) before the expected date of delivery.
  • The employer can offer the prospective employee a work-from-home option through a mutual agreement.
  • An employer can grant additional leave, if needed, if she can’t return immediately after the maternity leave period through a mutual agreement.
  • The employer needs to provide child care provisions for taking care of the child.

Latest update – Maternity Benefit Act 2017

According to the latest amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act 2017, maternity leave is raised from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The leave is extended from earlier 6 weeks to 8 weeks pre-delivery and 18 weeks post childbirth.

Applicability of the Maternity Act

This Act applies to:

  • Every factory, mine, or plantation (including those who are belonging to Government)
  • An establishment engaged in the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic, and other performances, irrespective of the no of employees, and
  • Every shop or establishment wherein 10 or more persons are working on any day of the preceding 12 months.

Eligibility for Maternity leave

A woman is eligible to claim maternity benefits under the following conditions:

  • Women employed in any establishment, whether directly or through any agency  are eligible to claim maternity benefits
  • The employee should have worked for her employer for at least 80 days in the last 12 months
  • A woman could request her employer to assign her light work to avail maternity benefits. This request should be made at least before 10 weeks of her date of expected delivery.
  • The woman should produce a certificate 10 weeks before her delivery to the employer confirming her pregnancy.
  • The employee needs to give written notice to the employer before 7 weeks of her date of delivery regarding her absence period.


Laws of maternity leaves and income in different states –


For private school employees –

Under section – 13-22 of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1981. 

Maternity benefits are allowed for 90 days who completed more than 1 year or less than 2 years of the service. In the same place whose service is less than one year, they may be granted maternity leave. And maternal leave will also be granted, but it can’t be debited from other leaves accounts.

For every women –

Every woman employee is entitled to get 180 days of paid maternity leave.


As perRajasthan Maternity Benefit Act, 1953, no woman will participate in any employment during Six months of her pregnancy or after childbirth. And also, employers will not knowingly employ a female in a factory during her pregnancy or after delivery. As per the Rajasthan Shops And Commercial Establishments Act, 1958, a pregnant working woman has to give prior notice in writing or orally to the employer.


As per the Gujarat shops and establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2019.A female worker is entitled to get maternity benefits.


Under the scheme of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), all pregnant women are eligible to get maternity benefits for the surviving first two newly born children. These benefits are provided for those women who all are the age of 19 years or above. Under this scheme Rs. 4,000 of cash benefits are provided under certain conditions. Those who have paid maternity leave under the government and PSUs are not eligible for this scheme.


Under the scheme ofPradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), all pregnant women and lactating women are entitled to get the cash benefits of Rs. 5,000 in an installment directly in the account, for the first living child in the family. However, those pregnant women or lactating women employees working under the central or state government and private sector are not eligible for this scheme.

Difference between Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 and Maternity Benefits Act, 2017

Basic Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 Maternity Benefits Act, 2017
Nature of work No options or provisions for flexible work.  Flexible work options – based on mutual agreement of employer and employee, employer allows the female employee to work from home. 
Leaves Under the 1961 act, a female employee can take only for 6 weeks.  Whereas the leave can take 8 weeks. 
Provisions  No provision for Commissioning and adoptive  Issues for 12 weeks of leave for commission and adoptive.
Weeks  12 weeks maternity leave  26 weeks maternity leave.

Benefits of Maternity Leave

  • Employees are entitled to get paid while they are on maternity leave
  • The compensation is calculated on her average daily earning over a 3-month period as soon as the leave begins.
  • The Act states that 10 weeks upto the date of delivery, no pregnant employee should be given difficult tasks that may affect both mother and child.
  • The employee has the right to the creche facility when she returns to her job after the maternity leave if an establishment has more than 50 employees.
  • Maternity leave is available for mothers adopting a newborn (less than three months old) and the duration is 12 weeks from the date of adoption. There is no provision for the adoption of older children.

benefits of maternity leave

Maternity Benefit Forms:

Form Description
Form-2A Claim for Maternity Benefit for Sickness
Form-13 Sickness or temporary Disablement or Maternity
Form 13A Maternity Benefit for Sickness
Form-14 Sickness or Temporary Disablement or Maternity Benefit for Sickness
Form-19 Maternity Benefit for the Notice of Pregnancy
Form-20 Maternity Benefit – to produce Certificate of Pregnancy
Form-21  Maternity Benefit – Certificate of Expected Confinement
Form-22 Claim for Maternity Benefit

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Maternity benefit in case of miscarriage

In the unfortunate circumstance of a miscarriage, the employee is allowed 6 weeks leave from the date of the incident immediately following the day of her miscarriage or, as the case may be, her medical termination of pregnancy.

2. Maternity benefit for contract employee in India

Every woman employee, whether employed directly or through a contractor is entitled to receive the same benefits as to women working in any agency or an establishment.

3. Can a woman employee on probation apply for Maternity Leave?

Yes. A woman employee can apply for Maternity leave on a probation period if she meets the following conditions:

  • She should have worked with the employer for 80 days in the last 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.
  • The period of 80 days shall not be applicable if the woman has immigrated to the State of Assam and was pregnant at the time of immigration.
  • For calculating the number of days on which a woman has actually worked during the preceding 12 months, the days on which she has been laid off or was on leaves with wages shall be counted.
  • There is neither a wage ceiling for coverage under the Maternity Act nor there is any restriction as regards the type of work a woman is engaged in.

4. How many times can one take Maternity Leave?

There is no limit to the number of times one can take maternity leave as per the Act. But usually, companies reimburse hospitalization expenses for only 2 deliveries.

5. Is the benefits of work from home applicable for pregnant female employees?

Yes, the benefits of work from home are applicable for pregnant employees. But to get the benefits, employer and employee need to mutually agree. And, For the benefit to be paid during the maternity period, an employee needs to show and submit the required documents to the employer.


Did you know you can manage payroll laws such as Maternity, Bonus and more with our payroll software?

Check out Saral PayPack Payroll software for more details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • i register in esic 20-01-2023 and still working. my contribution period is
    oct 2022 to march 2023 —- 31 days
    april 2023 to sept 2023 ——– 182 day
    oct 2023 to till now ———-31 days
    now i want maternity leave from 1 jan 2024 but on esic portal my maternity benefit shows NO . why this happen to me please help me out

    • Maternity Benefit will be provided if the contribution is paid for atleast 70 days in previous both terms. Maybe the reason for ineligiblity is you do not have 70 days currently. But as you will be on leave from 1st Jan, you may be eligible.

  • I have worked for my organisation since last 6 months, including 3 months probation period initially. my EDD is 5/1/2024. I am applying for the leave from Dec 5th but my company HR said I am not eligible. I have to be employed for 80 days and if I conceive after that, I will be eligible according to him? is that true. I think I am eligible as per the law and the same law is mentioned in my company policy e book

    • “Woman should have worked with her employer for at least 80 days in the 12 months preceding the date of her expected delivery.” The law states as such. Probably you HR is not considering your Probation period. Please clarify the same with them

  • My daughter works as an Intern under Apprentices Act in a company since last 3 months. Will she be entitled to leave due to Miscarriage as per Maternity Act ?

    • If she is an On-roll intern then she will be eligible provided she has worked for atleast 80 days.

  • I joined a reputed organisation on March 15, 23 where probation period is of 1 year. Will I be eligible for maternity leave ?

    • Yes, you are eligible

  • I joined an organisation on 15 March, probation period is of 1 year. Today I got to know that I’m pregnant. Am I eligible for maternity leave and benefits?

    • Yes, you are eligible

  • Hi sir..I joined company Nov 10 2022,but my contribution Jan 2023 to June delivery date is August…I can’t continue my job because my health I dropped July 2023… Totally my contribution Jan to June 120 days …may I eligible for maternity benefits…pls reply me sir…

    • No, you are not eligible for the benefit

  • My contribution
    Jan to March =60 days
    April to June =60 days
    May I eligible for
    Maternity leave

    • Yes you are eligible for the leave

  • Hi,
    My wife has conceived. Also she has cleared interview at Govt hospital as a doctor in delhi. This job is contract/Ad-Hoc job of 89days which will get extended for another 89 days and it will keep on extending. Now she is joining on 17th May 2023. Is she eligible for Maternity leaves from November 2023? Will her contract get extended during Maternity Leaves or her contract will be terminated?

    • Firstly plz check if this benefit is applicable as per her contract as few contracts do not give them

      second , if she is applicable then she has to work for atleast 80 days before to nov 2023 to be eligible

      her extension of contract is as per the contract and has no relation to ML

  • Hi,can I get this pdf as I need to submit for getting maternity leave & if possible exact source for contractual worker getting paid leave

  • Hi,
    I joined a reputed college on 01 of August 2022. And my Due is in the month of February 2023. Am I eligible to avail my Maternity Leave? If so how many months I am entitled for it?

    • Yes you are eligible provided you have worked for a minimum 80 days during this period. The duration of leave is as per the organization which you can check with the HR

  • i have joined the organisation on 10th jan 2023, my due date is 1st week of sep 2023
    so i am eligible for maternity benefit. pls guide

    • Yes you are eligible provided you have worked for a minimum 80 days during this period


    • no, not required

  • If a woman appointed after her pregnancy and his joining date his September 19th 2022 now in November she claims for maternity leave. She is eligible or not.

    • NO, She is not eligible.

  • My wife has joined reputed private college in Noida as assistant professor on 12th sept 2022. On 10th October 2022, we got to know about her pregnancy. She is on probation for 1 year. We are expecting delivery around in June 2023. Is she Eligible for maternity leave as the institute is denying that maternity leave is not applicable for employees on probation.

    • ML says a minimum of 180 days of work out of 12 months before being eligible for the same. Hence, she may not be eligible.

  • Did women gets maternity bonus post maternity, if yes, then amount??

    • A woman is entitled to a medical bonus of ₹3,500/- if pre-natal confinement and post- natal care is not provided by the employer free of charge

  • I am a teacher of a private school , got appointment in March 2019 for 1year with a condition that employment would be regularise after 1year through appraisal by authority. But due to Covid situation as the school is closed (only online class going on) no such appraisal took place. In this context I am pregnant presently , may I eligible for maternity benefits ?

    • You can receive the benefit provided the institute provides it for contact employment.

  • My wife is pregnant and expected date of delivery is 18 Sep 2020. She is not at work since 22 Jan 2020 due to pregnancy.
    She has following contribution.
    March 19 to Sep 19 – 148 days
    Oct 19 to Match 20 – 90 days
    March 20 to Sep 20 – 0 days
    Her employer is saying she will not getting any maternity benefit since she is not at work (as per their consultant opinion)
    Will she get maternity benefit?

    • As she is not working during her pregnancy period, the employer can deny the benefit.

  • I am working in Partnership firm, maternity act will be applicable to them?

    • Yes, if the Firm has the provision.

  • Then why maternity Benefit act is existed ??

  • What can be done if employer decline to extend the benefit ?

    • It will be based on the organisation policy.

  • If a female employee does not join back after availing maternity benefits of 24 weeks, what process can be followed?

    • Complete the F&F of the employee.

  • Whether Form 11 under maternity act to be filled branch wise or main head office is fine ?

    • It has to be filled where the Pay of the employee is computed


    • NO, you cannot claim as you are not working.

  • Hi, My wife is am 5 months Pregnant, 6th runinng. She is working with a CA Firm (LLP) from March, 2018, which has 7-8 branches in 7-8 states. She currently got terminated considering her pregnancy. There are following doubts;-

    1. In order to check about the applicability. 10 or more employees are to be calculated per branch wise or PAN India Wise?

    2. Can her employer terminate her due to this reason during 6th month of pregnancy and is there any protection available to my wife?

    • 1. Applicability is considered organization wise 2. Any woman employee cannot be terminated giving her pregnancy as the reason. You can contact the labor department for the same.

  • I am a contract employee, My parent company said the maternity leaves salary will be paid only after 182 days if i join back to the company. Is it true.

    • NO… Maternity pay will be generally given during the period of leave.

  • Hi I Joined this company on 28th januvary 2019 and still working. My due date is 24th december 2019 and I am taking maternity leaves from 1 dec 2019. Am I eligible to get paid maternity leave? if yes then for how many months as per law in India?

    • Yes, you are eligible for 26 weeks of Maternity Leave.

  • I am working as daily wage a daily wage employee in a State Govt. system. I have been working there since last 7 years. Am I eligible to get maternity leave?

    • Please check with your contract clause.

  • Hi,

    If i am prescribed for bed rest during my pregnancy in 12th week is there any benefit / leave as per the act ? As per my knowledge there is a provision of 4 weeks paid leave over & above the maternity benefit in case of illness arising out of pregnancy. Please advise if it will be applicable under the mentioned circumstances ?

    • Yes, it is applicable with suitable certificate from the doctor

  • Hi i and my wife working in a private factory which falls under ESIC.
    I want to know that will my wife get pregnancy benefit from ESIC , she had completed just 06 moths as worker & esic member.
    How many months have to compulsory completed to get maternity . If i she want maternity leave just after 06 months joining the establishment and ESIC, will it allowed or regect
    Please help me asap

    • Yes, she will get the benefit.IF she is claiming under ESIC, then from day 1 of registration she is eligible. If it is under Company Maternity then after 80 days of working period.

  • Hi I Joined this company on 1st may 2019 and still working. My due date is november 25th 2019 and I am taking maternity leaves from 1 november 2019. Am I eligible to get paid maternity leave?.

    • Yes, your are eligible

  • Hi, my company provide creche facility but it is not up to the strength. I have applied for creche facility before going on leave. Now when I came back they are saying the creche is full. So no space available for my baby. They have placed my name in wait list. As baby take time to grow up so obviously for next 4-5 months or for may be more months my wait list is not gong to clear. So what are my options in this case?

    • Please contact your HR for the same.

  • Hi, i have contribution from 2009 until 2013 unfortunately my contribution continues last October 2016 up to now. I have given birth last September 2016 however I didn’t receive any maternity pay. I would like to ask if i am still eligible for the maternity claim?

    • NO. Maternity Claim has to be done at the time of delivery

  • What if you are not aware that you are pregnant due to irregular menstruation, then you got miscarriage. Can you still get benefits from SSS, even you where unable to file a maternity or advised the company that you are pregnant? you reply is much appreciated..

    • Hello,
      NO, for the said reason you will not be eligible for benefits under SSS.

  • I need form 24

  • Hi, Maternity leave is for 24 weeks or 26 weeks?

  • Can maternity benefit be availed in both Maternity Act and ESI, simultaneously ?

    • No. It has to be either of the one.

  • Hi I Joined this company on 12th Noveber 2018 and still working. My due date is 15th deember 2019 and I am taking maternity leaves from 1 oct 2019. Am I eligible to get paid maternity leave? if yes then for how many months as per law in India?

    • Madam, Yes, you are eligible for 24 weeks paid leave(6 weeks before the delivery and 18 weeks after the delivery)

  • Hi,
    I joined a company on April 25, 2019 and in September I got to know that am pregnant. My expected date of delivery is May 2, 2020. The date of completion of my probation was July 25, 2019. I would like to ask following questions:

    a) Am I eligible for maternity leave as per Indian law (paid/unpaid)
    b) Am I eligible for maternity leave benefits
    b) If not, can my employer fire me any time during my pregnancy or during unpaid maternity leave

    P.S. I wish to work as long as possible before EDD.

    • Madam, a) & b) Yes, you are eligible for the maternity leave and benefits, c) No, your employer cannot fire you during your pregnancy or maternity leave period because it is punishable under labor law.

  • Hi ! I son was born on 03/march/2019 & i took a maternity leave from 16/Oct have completed my 6months & rejoined in job again but had to take an extention in leave for more 3 months till now i did not submit any docs to ESIC office i have resigned the job , what is the procedure to be followed to claim Maternity benefit please let me know the time limit as well

    • Hi Sindhiya,
      Please contact the ESIC office who will provide you with relevant details

  • My contract is ending after 3 months and I have applied for 6 months maternity leave. Will I get contract renewal automatically and remining three months of maternity leave automatically?

    • Please contact your employer for the details.

    • I’m working somewhere in education Institute. I’m working from jan 2023 to june 2023 . I’m eligible to maternity leave or nor

    • You are eligible is you have 80 days of attendance

  • * Not an IW.
    * Less than 9 months of insurable employment on EDD / Date of delivery.
    * Less than 70 days contribution in 2 preceding Contribution Period.

  • I want to avail extended maternity benefit for premature delivery of birth, can I site reason for child care ?

    • Hi Aayushi,
      Please contact your HR as this will be as per your company policy

  • i joined on 8 April 2019, completed my probation on 7 July 2019. i need maternity leaves from 8th October 2019. Am i eligible for maternity paid leaves benefit? as per law i need to work at least 80 days in 12 months before expected delivery date. i am completing 180 days in 6 months before delivery date. is it a rule to work at least 12 months before taking leaves? Please tell me i am eligible or not?

    • Hi Priyanka,
      No. You will not be eligible for the leave as it requires a minimum of 1 year of working days.

  • woman employee on probation apply for Maternity Leave?

  • Hi Team,
    If an employee is pregnant and from when she can start availing her leave’s, i mean to ask is she eligbile to take her maternity leave from 2nd month for 15 days due to sickness.

    • Hi Sujata,
      Maternity leave generally starts 6 weeks before the expected delivery date. Any leave before this will be considered as per company policy and not under maternity leave.

  • Hi Team,
    If an employee is pregnant and from when she can start availing her leave’s, i mean to ask is she eligbile to take her maternity leave from 4th month itslef or is there any rule stating she has take her maternity leave only from 8th or 9th month.

    • Hello Sir,
      Maternity leave generally starts 6 weeks before the expected delivery date. Any leave before this will be considered as per company policy and not under maternity leave.

    • An employee is allowed to take 8 weeks of maternity leave before the expected date of delivery and 18 weeks after the delivery.

  • Need to know how to avail maternity amount from company

    • Hello,
      Please contact the HR of the company.

  • I am an anganvaadi worker
    I availed only one maternity benefits out of my 2 children. Now I am pregnant 3rd time. Am I eligible for maternity benifit now?

    • The maternity benefit available for the first two deliveries. For the third baby you will get just 12 weeks. You are entitled to avail only 12 weeks.

  • Are CL and SL applicable during maternity leave? . If not can they be accumulated for the maternity period ? Is maternity bonus compulsory to be paid by employer after the female rejoin the organization?

    • Hi Pooja,
      No, SL and CL are not applicable during maternity leave. Maternity bonus is not given by the central government.

  • If gave birth to twins. Do we get 26week or for two children is there any different policy?

    • Hello,
      You will get only 26 Weeks. As the leave duration is per maternity.

  • Since getting pregnant, I’ve been looking more into maternity leave and the benefits I should have. I didn’t know maternity leave was extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks in 2017. I’ll have to see what my work policy is concerning maternity leave and I can keep a workers compensation lawyer on call if my rights are violated, thanks to this post!

  • I had took maternity leave 52 days before delivery. Now im in out of station due to my delivery. Its long travel to go to the local esi. Shall i go to the esi office after 2 month of my baby born date to avail the remaining 124 days leave.

    • Hi Ritu,
      The leave has to be claimed on delivery and cannot be taken after the said period. So, please contact your HR for more information.

  • My baby is 13 months old can my wife take maternity leave please share any order regarding time limit if any

    • NO. it is not possible since maternity leave is provide only at the time of delivery.

  • Hi,

    If any female employees covered under ESIC than employer is liable to pay at the time of maternity leave or not?

    • NO. Maternity benefit for female employee under ESIC is given by government.

    • Maternity Benefits
      Maternity Benefit is payable to an Insured Woman(under ESIC) in the following cases subject to contributory conditions:-
      Confinement-payable for a period of 12 weeks (84 days) on production of Form 21 and 23.
      Miscarriage or Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)-payable for 26 weeks (182 days) from the date following miscarriage-on the basis of Form 20 and 23.
      Sickness arising out of Pregnancy, Confinement, Premature birth-payable for a period not exceeding one month-on the basis of Forms 8, 10 and 9.
      In the event of the death of the Insured Woman during confinement leaving behind a child, Maternity Benefit is payable to her nominee on production of Form 24 (B).
      Maternity benefit rate is 100% of average daily wages.

    • Thank you for the explanation 🙂

  • I want to know while on maternity leave is she entitled to earned leave and casual leave .

    • I am working somewhere from 1st jan2023 till today is i am eligble for maternity leave

    • You are eligible is you have 80 days of attendance