Are Unmarried Women Also Entitled to Maternity Leave Or Can Companies Refuse? Here’s What You Should Know

Maternity leave as defined under the Government of India’s labour laws has rules uniformly for married or unmarried women. Representational image

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed by Parliament in 2017, providing for paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from earlier 12 weeks

Maternity leave is a right given to working women, which can be taken by any woman in special circumstances. Special circumstances mean that this leave can be taken in the state of pregnancy. In such a situation, the question arises whether unmarried women can also take advantage of maternity leave in the event of pregnancy. What has been arranged in the law regarding this?

Important changes have been made in the Maternity Benefit Bill 2017 under labour laws. According to this, pregnant women will now be given 26 weeks or 6 months of leave, instead of 12 weeks or 3 months. The purpose is to give adequate opportunities for proper protection and care of the mother and child after delivery. The biggest thing is that during this time the woman is given her full salary by the company. There can be no reduction in it.

What is the law for unmarried women?

Maternity leave as defined under the Government of India’s labour laws has rules uniformly for married or unmarried women. It does not matter whether the woman is married or unmarried because this law is made only for pregnancy or child care. Therefore, unmarried women will also get maternity leave of 26 weeks. During this time there will be no cut in salary.

Government or private, law is uniform

The best thing about maternity leave is that whether your company is public or private, the conditions and facilities of the leave will not be affected. However, this rule will apply to companies with 10 or more employees. If the number of employees is less, then it is not kept under the definition of a “company” and the rules of labour law will not apply to it.

Different rules when more than 2 children

Keep in mind that maternity law works differently for more than 2 children. Under this, full leave of 26 weeks is given up to 2 children, but after this, only 12 weeks or 3 months of maternity leave will be given on the delivery of the third child.

Other conditions

The employee is required to work 80 days out of the 12 months before the delivery. Only then will maternity leave be available.

Women adopting children will also get the right to take maternity leave.

If a woman gives birth to a child under surrogacy, she can also get maternity leave up to 26 weeks from the date of handing over the newborn to its parents.

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