The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 ("Maternity Act"):
1. provides for maternity leaves and certain other benefits such as leave for miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, leave with wages for tubectomy operation, payment of medical bonuses etc.;
2. is applicable to factories, mines, the circus industry, plantations and shops and establishments employing at least 10 employees ("Covered Establishments"), except female employees who are covered under the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 ("ESI Act");
3. provides maternity benefits to female employees working in specified establishments and excludes women in the unorganized sector;
4. entitles female employees in Covered Establishments to receive maternity benefits if they have worked with the employer for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of expected delivery ("Eligible Employee").
5. In addition to the Maternity Act, certain other labour laws in India also provide for maternity benefits. The ESI Act provides for payment of wages to an insured woman, during her 26 week maternity leave. Women employed in newspapers or working as journalists are also entitled to maternity leave of 3 months under the Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955. Similarly, female employees working in factories are entitled to 3 months of maternity leaves with full wages under the Factories Act, 1948.