As per Maternity Benefit Act-1961 Women employees are eligible for maternity leaves of 180 days for maximum two surviving children. Maternity leaves can be combined with any other kind of leaves including CCL and can be taken without medical certificate up to one year in continuation. These leaves cannot be debited against leave account and the period of leave will be included in service period for increment and pension. The women employee will be given full pay during the leave period. But one should be careful not to join office back during maternity leave period as this leave can be taken in one spell at a stretch. If woman employee joins back before completing her maternity leave, it automatically gets cancelled.
Read Section 5
5. Right to payment of maternity benefits.— 13 [
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every woman shall be entitled to, and her employer shall be liable for, the payment of maternity benefit at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence, that is to say, the period immediately preceding the day of her delivery, the actual day of her delivery and any period immediately following that day.] Explanation.—For the purpose of this sub-section, the average daily wage means the average of the woman’s wages payable to her for the days on which she has worked during the period of three calendar months immediately preceding the date from which she absents herself on account of maternity, 1[the minimum rate of wage fixed or revised under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (11 of 1948) or ten rupees, whichever is the highest].
(2) No woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefit, for a period of not less than 14 [eighty days] in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery: Provided that the qualifying period of 14 [eighty days] aforesaid shall not apply to a woman who has immigrated into the State of Assam and was pregnant at the time of the immigration. Explanation.—For the purpose of calculating under the sub-section the days on which a woman has actually worked in the establishment 3[the days for which she has been laid off or was on holidays declared under any law for the time being in force to be holidays with wages] during the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be taken into account.
15 [(3) The maximum period for which any woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall be twelve weeks of which not more than six weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery:] Provided that where a woman dies during this period, the maternity benefit shall be payable only for the days up to and including the day of her death: 15 [Provided further that where a woman, having been delivered of a child, dies during her delivery or during the period immediately following the date of her delivery for which she is entitled for the maternity benefit, leaving behind in either case the child, the employer shall be liable for the maternity benefit for that entire period but if the child also dies during the said period, then, for the days up to and including the date of the death of the child.]