The Maternity Benefit Act, aims to regulate of employment of women employees in certain establishments for certain periods before and after child birth and provides for maternity and certain other benefits.
The Act extends to the whole of India and is applicable to:
- Every factory, mine or plantation (including those belonging to Government) and
- An establishment engaged in the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances, irrespective of the number of employees, and
To every shop or establishment wherein 10 or more persons are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.
The State Government may extend the Act to any other establishment or class or establishments; industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise.
However, the Act does not apply to any such factory/other establishment to which the provisions of the Employees’ State Insurance Act are applicable for the time being.
But, where the factory/establishment is governed under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, and the woman employee is not qualified to claim maternity benefit under section 50 of that Act, because her wages exceed Rs. 3,000 p.m. (or the amount so specified u/s 2(9) of the ESI Act), or for any other reason, then such woman employee is entitled to claim maternity benefit under this Act till she becomes qualified to claim maternity benefit under the E.S.I. Act.
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.