What is maternity benefit?
Every woman shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit, which is the amount payable to her at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence.
Period for which maternity benefit allowed
The maximum period for which any woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall be 12 weeks in all whether taken before or after childbirth. However she cannot take more than six weeks before her expected delivery.
Prior to the amendment of 1989, a woman employee could not avail of the six weeks’ leave preceding the date of her delivery; she was entitled to only six weeks leave following the day of her delivery. However, by the above amendment, the position has changed. Now, in case a woman employee does not avail of six weeks’ leave preceding the date of her delivery, she can avail of that leave following her delivery, provided the total leave period, i.e. preceding and following the day of her delivery does not exceed 12 weeks.