Ministry directs Labour Departments of States and UTs to ensure strict adherence of Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
In furtherance to the update in the trailing email, the Ministry of Labour and Employment (“Ministry”) has issued a letter dated 28th August, 2017, directing Labour Commissioners to ensure strict enforcement of the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (“Act”).
Earlier, the Ministry had issued a clarification on 12th April, 2017 to ensure smooth implementation of the provisions of the Act. Amongst other clarification, it was clarified that the Act covers contractual workers. The Ministry has received a number of complaints and grievances from working women on the non-implementation of the provisions of the Act, including:
- dismissal of women by employers in violation of Section 12 which prohibits dismissal of women employees during absence owing to pregnancy;
- non-coverage of contractual employees, etc.
In the light of the above circumstances, the Ministry has urged the implementing authorities to effectively enforce the provisions of the Act, and take strict punitive action against defaulting employers.