“Of course I can do this. I’m pregnant, not brain-damaged. My condition doesn’t change my personality.” – Christine Feehan, Ruthless Game
When it comes to the pregnancy of the working women there are many issues that come into count especially those relating to law. What are the rights of a working woman when she becomes pregnant? Let’s look at them in detail.
First – Termination, a women cannot be dismissed from the service of the company for being pregnant. If the company asks you for resignation, you can refuse to do so, because no company has a right to terminate any women on the grounds of pregnancy. You cannot even be dismissed, nor any modifications can be made in your working conditions, without your approval during the maternity leave period.
Second – Maternity Benefits, who are eligible for maternity benefits? The Maternity Benefits Act is applicable to all working women, irrespective of the type of organization they work in. A woman is eligible to claim maternity benefits if she has worked in an organization for a period of 80 days (minimum), before her due date. If you are employed in an organization and then become pregnant, you have some rights as per law.
Maternity Benefit Act was approved by Indian Government in 1961. According to this act, “a woman who is employed with any company is entitled to six weeks of paid leave. Her employer must not give her any work for six weeks, beginning from the day of delivery. In addition, after resuming work, she should not be assigned any difficult tasks or be given any work that involves standing for long hours”.
Third – Leave period, it is up to you, as to when you want to take your six weeks of leave. Generally women prefer taking leave around two weeks before the delivery date and the rest after giving birth to the baby. You should keep in mind that six weeks is the minimum leave, depending on your company policy you may be entitled to more leave. Many companies allow women to take maternity leave for a period of three months; in addition to this you can also combine other leaves such as casual leave and others.
When you want to officially claim the leave and other benefits, you must write a formal letter to the office. This letter should include details such as how long you have worked for the company, your expected due date and the starting and ending days of your leave.
When you should submit the written notice, depends on the company policy, some insist that you should give notice before delivery while other companies allow you to give notice after the birth of the child. Even if you forget to give a written notice, you are still entitled to all maternity benefits that your work place offers.
If for reasons relating to pregnancy, you are dismissed from the work, you can file a case in the Industrial and Labor Court, under the Maternity Benefits Act. So, use the Maternity Benefits Act and reap the benefits.