Absence of applicability of laws mandating paid maternal leave

Absence of applicability of laws mandating paid maternal leave

She surely deserves itAbsence of applicability of laws mandating paid maternal leave—the three A’s of Awareness Availing and Acceptance.

A woman fulfills many roles throughout her life but the best as well the one requiring the highest amount of sacrifices and paired with the greatest responsibilities is the role of a life giver i.e, a mother. A woman experiencing motherhood is the best example of the high stature that God has given to her , he considered her highly worthy of blessing her with the courage to give birth thereby continuing the human race but the derailed world of today not only has put her other responsibilities before this supreme one but has also deprived her of a humane treatment – the least that could have been done was to ensure that her rights weren’t denied to her. We don’t  need some kind of a revolution, all we need is for people to realize that a paid maternal leave is a woman’s right and by ensuring that her right is given to her, we are ensuring that the life giver doesn’t feel deprived and is able to nurture herself as well as her child with dignity .

 

To begin with our 3 step analysis it’s important for an expecting working woman to know about her rights during her expecting time as well as after she gives birth. In order to be able to demand her rights , she needs to be aware of them in the first place. The government through our constitution has granted certain rights to expecting working women and it’s important that every workplace applies them. The constitution of India under the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 guarantees the right of payment of maternity benefits to working women.

Acquiring proper legal knowledge of the act would be very helpful. As an implementation of this act an expecting woman is entitled to receive the average daily wages (the average of the wages payable to her for the days that she has worked for the employer in the three calendar months prior to her leave) and the employer is liable to pay her the same, provided that the woman has worked for a period of at least 80 days in the twelve months prior to the time of commencement of her leave. In order for the woman to be benefited by this act , she needs to take adequate steps to avail herself this monetary assistance. To be able to receive payments from the employer during the leave period the expecting lady has to write a notice to the employer within which besides mentioning that whether she wants to receive the benefit or nominate someone, she also has to state that she won’t work for any other organization during this leave period. The notice should also state the date of the start of her leave which shouldn’t be earlier than six weeks before the date of expected delivery.

It’s extremely important that while expecting the employer to follow the law the employee should also be well aware of them. In the industrialized world of today where women are an important part of the workforce , it’s very important that workplaces imply these laws and have specialized HR cells to address such issues. The acceptance of this law into the policies of an organization is very important . While many reputed companies today are taking initiatives to provide expecting ladies with the best possible benefits , there are still places which lack the applicability of such an important law.

A reputed company like Accenture has increased the duration of paid maternal leave to twenty two weeks which is an example for others to follow. Flipkart too has offered brilliant maternity benefits like twenty four weeks paid leave , flexible working hours with full pay etc. Many more companies have followed them. It’s a great step towards assuring that women don’t have to compromise on their careers after having given birth . The society is not doing a favor to women by acting upon these laws , it’s a social as well as moral obligation that the life giver feels secure and doesn’t feel the need to give up on her career or her dreams.

 

 

 

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 About the Author: This article is contributed by Uroosa Wani, our intern.
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