Maternity Leave Policy In India FAQs
FemTech India

Maternity Leave Policy in India FAQs

January 11, 2023 By Editor

Are you a mom-to-be, or are you a new mom? And, are you a working professional who is a part of the corporate realm in India? If yes, it is only obvious that you will have a host of questions about the Maternity Leave policies that are in place. More so, you might be contemplating multiple things, whether to be a full-time or a part-time employee, return back to the same organization, or join a new firm. It is quite common for moms-to-be and new moms to have these questions, and you certainly are not alone!

Most often than not, moms-to-be or even a new-mom will be caught in a web of thoughts including pregnancy-related issues, postpartum care, baby feeding, or even trying to sync up with the baby’s sleep cycle, on top of this, sometimes, your corporate leave and maternal leave policies and returning to the office might also be on your mind.

To put you at ease, and to give you a summary of everything related to Maternity Leave, FemTech India is bringing you this exclusion edition of the blog.

Consider this as a primer which can answer all your questions about the Maternal Leave policies in India, and serve as a reckoner for all your questions!

How to get started?

In India, the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017 is the guiding principle behind all the norms and regulations related to maternity leave policies and benefits. While most organizations might have their own internal Human Resource Rules and Policies, by the book, to be eligible for maternity leave and benefits, you must have been on employment with the organization for a minimum of 80 days. The days can be a full-time role, a contractual role, or even a probationary role.

Approaching the team:

Breaking the news to your team is certainly going to be exciting. However, to ensure that you have a smooth approval for your maternity leave and benefits, it is suggested that you follow your organization’s protocol. In general, start by having a conversation with your immediate manager or your resource manager, and then inform the Talent team or your Human Resources team. Post your manager and HR team’s approval, you can certainly share the exciting news with your team members.

Once you have a word with your Manager and HR team, seek their help in processing your application. Note that each organization might have a different process for Maternity Leave application, so follow the guidelines of your respective organization!

Understanding your pay and leave policies

The next question that would obviously pop into your head might be when to apply, how many leaves might you get, when will you get relieved, and how will your pay get affected

Take rest assured that the policies are very inclusive and friendly to mothers, so you need not worry about them!

Buy the books and the general norms, you are eligible for maternity benefits about 8 weeks before your due date. However, based on your health conditions, and the flexibility that your organization offers, you may extend the time period. While this time period is a general guiding principle, it might flex with each organization’s policies.

And, covering the quantum of leave, the policies are highly inclusive and have policies for first-time mothers, mothers having a second child, mothers having a third child, moms adopting kids, mothers having kids through surrogacy, and mothers dealing with abortion or miscarriages.

In general, first-time mothers and mothers having a second child have 26 weeks of maternity leave. For mothers having a third child, a leave of up to 12 weeks is offered. For mothers having a kid through surrogacy or adopting a child who is less than three years, a 12-week leave policy is applicable. As for miscarriage or abortion, leave policies cover a six-week duration.

In general, during your maternity leaves, you are eligible to receive your full-basic salary or the statutory salary. However, the receipt of bonuses, extra benefits, or other profit-sharing aspects will depend on your own organizational policies.

Covering other expenses:

While the books state that you will be eligible for your full statutory salary during your maternity leave, covering other medical bills might vary as per your organizational policies.

For companies with a group insurance policy, hospitalization expenses are generally covered. Either you can claim it, if not your spouse can claim it. In general, companies cover hospitalization expenses for up to two deliveries.

Apart from this, you are also entitled to maternity benefits in the form of a medical bonus, which generally amounts to 1000/-. Sometimes, post-natal care is also provided by the employer and this amount can be potentially increased up to a maximum of 20,000/- subject to the organizational policies.

Managing the workload:

Organizational policies offer workload reduction. Also, by the books of the law, you can ensure that you are not given any physically arduous work which involved standing for long hours, prior to ten weeks of your due date.

What if my policies state otherwise?

In general, the Maternity Act applies to all organizations including mines, plantations, shops, and factories having more than 10 employees. All organizations, whether organized or unorganized are expected to have maternity policies and benefits. However, for journalists, the leave policy is for three months and for women working in a factory, the leave policies are up to three months.

By the extension of the thoughts, if your employer refuses maternity leaves and benefits for you, or asks you to quit during your pregnancy, you are entitled to settle it in the Labour Court. However, before you proceed with that, speak with your manager and your HR, understand if there are any confusions, and if you find them unreasonable, you can certainly take it up to the court.

Returning to work and extension facilities:

In general, the laws cover 26 weeks of paid leave. However, as per your organizational policies, you can ask to work from home. These terms are generally agreed upon between you and your employer.

While the first 26 weeks are paid leaves if due to any health reasons, you can extend it to another 30 days. You can submit your proof of illness along with bills to get these 30 days. However, beyond the 30 days, the leaves are usually unpaid.

While the host of organizations is coming out with rather inclusive and friendly laws, should you feel left out or not happy, feel free to have an open chat with your manager or your HR team. We hope that you have a wonderful pregnancy and great motherhood!