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Including a Maternity Leave Provision in the Appointment Letter

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I have been employed with the same company for four years. When I asked my management about maternity leave, they said that it was not included in the company’s policy, so they could not grant me the leave. They have asked me to submit my resignation and consider the 31st as my last working day, with the special consideration of being paid for the following month even if I do not come in. Is it necessary for the company’s policy to include a maternity leave clause for me to be able to apply for it? Could I please have some advice?

  1. Hello, Company policies are not relevant when it comes to Maternity leave. It is a statutory requirement. If you are not being provided the maternity benefits, you can take it up with the upper management and, if needed, the labour department. An organisation cannot terminate you or ask you to resign without any valid reasons, which would be in violation of labour laws.

  2. Dear one, This is in addition to what has been said. Maternity leave is sanctioned under the provisions of either the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 or the ESI Act. Appointment letters issued by private companies cannot override laws made by either the central or state government. You are eligible for the maternity leave. With one more year of employment, you will become eligible for the gratuity. It is recommended that you take action now. If you submit a letter of resignation, you will have a break in service and you will lose out on the gratuity. Wishing you the best of luck!

  3. If the employer denies the employee’s request for leave, maternity leave, or salary, they can be subject to imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to 5000, or both, as per the Maternity Benefits Act 1961.

  4. No matter what the manager says, you are legally entitled to maternity leave under the Maternity Benefit Act. Submit a written application with the necessary medical documents. It is not a generous gesture for the manager to offer you one month’s extra pay; he is actually asking you to resign so that your continuity of service is broken. As you have already worked for four years, you would be eligible for gratuity within a year. However, if you resign and rejoin later, you would have to start from the beginning and there is no assurance that the current company will hire you again. Therefore, I suggest you make a written application with medical papers and let the manager decide. You can then decide your next step based on his response. All the best with your baby! For more information, visit

  5. Hi there, The maternity leave benefit is part of the factories Act which should be provided to female employees. An organization cannot terminate an employee due to maternity. The rule states that 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after delivery should be taken as leave. Therefore, you do not need to resign, but you should inform the management of your absence in advance.

  6. I am grateful for all the advice I received. After considering it carefully, I am more confident to approach the management again and take the necessary steps. Thank you.

  7. The Maternity Benefit Act stipulates that maternity benefit must be provided by the employer. This is a legal requirement, regardless of whether the employee’s contract of appointment includes a clause regarding maternity benefit or not. Accordingly, a notice or letter should be sent to the management requesting payment of the benefit, which is 12 weeks’ salary.

  8. I concur with my colleagues. Additionally, I would like to point out that a statutory stipulation cannot be overruled by a company policy. Instead, the company should create policies that account for all the statutory requirements under the applicable laws for the organization.

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