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  Indian Laws and Regulations Related to Health
Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 - Introduction



Right to Payment of Maternity Benefits

Leave for illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery, premature birth of child

Powers and duties of Inspectors


Power of Central Government to give directions

Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

(53 of 1961)
[12th December, 1961]


The object of maternity leave and benefit is to protect the dignity of motherhood by providing for the full and healthy maintenance of women and her child when she is not working. With the advent of modern age, as the number of women employees is growing, the maternity leave and other maternity benefits are becoming increasingly common. But there was no beneficial piece of legislation in the horizen which is intended to achieve the object of doing social justice to women workers employed in factories, mines and plantation.

ACT 53 OF 1961

With the object of providing maternity leave and benefit to women employee the Maternity Benefit Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and subsequently it received the assent of President on 12th December, 1961 to become an Act under short title and numbers "THE MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961 (53 OF 1961)".

An Act to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child-birth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-

(1) This Act may be called the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
(2) It extends to the whole of India 1[* * *].
(3) It shall come into force on such date 2 as may be notified in this behalf in the Official Gazette,-

3[(a) in relation to mines and to any other establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances, by the Central Government; and]

(b) in relation to other establishments in a State, by the State Government.

2. Application of Act.-4[(1) It applies, in the first instance,-
(a) to every establishment being a factory, mine or plantation including any such establishment belonging to Government and to every establishment wherein persons are employed for the exhibition of equestrian, acrobatic and other performances;

(b) to every shop or establishment within the meaning of any law for the time being in force in relation to shops and establishments in a State, in which ten or more persons are employed, or were employed, on any day of the preceding twelve months:]

Provided that the State Government may, with the approval of the Central Government, after giving not less than two month's notice of its intention of so doing, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that all or any of the provisions of this Act shall apply also to any other establishment or class of establishments, industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise.

(2) 5[Save as otherwise provided in 6[sections 5A and 5B] nothing contained in this Act] shall apply to any factory or other establishment to which the provisions of the Employees, State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948), apply for the time being.


The word establishment has a wide meaning and it generally denotes a shop, a commercial organisation or a public institution, provided that they are not specifically exempted by the appropriate government from the applicability of the Act; Thomas Eapen v. Assistant Labour Officer, 1993 LLR 800 (Ker).


The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 51 of 1970,sec.2 and Schedule (w.e.f.I-9-1971).


1st November, 1963: vide Notification No. S.O. 2920, dated 5th October, 1963, Gazette of India, Pt.II, sec. 3, page 3735.


Subs. by Act 52 of 1973, sec.2 (w.e.f. 1-3-1975).


Subs. by Act 61 of 1988 sec.2 (w.e.f. 10-1-1989).


Subs. by Act 21 of 1972, sec.2, for "Nothing contained in this Act".


Subs. by Act 53 of 1976, sec.2 (w.e.f. 1-5-1976).



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Posted by:  issharma, India  Posted on: 2/26/2014
Hi , I am working with a private firm . i joined it in june and in august last i conceived. Now my company is not giving me paid maternity leaves as they are saying as their policy says that to be eligible for the paid leaves you should have conceived after three months of joining the organization. What is a solution for me ??? i need an urgent help as i will be going for my leave in next month.
Posted by:  Murali17, India  Posted on: 1/6/2014
During the period of Maternity Leave i.e. 12 weeks, is it necessary to deduct EPF contribution of both employee and employer? Please advise. V.Murali
Posted by:  Imtiyaz826, India  Posted on: 10/25/2013
What About The Scheme like NRHM Where the ANM FMPHW did not get any kind of Maternity leave. They can avail the leave with out the salary is it not the against the Act.If She will be the only Person in the family whom the other depends upon then how can they will manage.[Please Tell Me ]
Posted by:  adharshan, India  Posted on: 7/15/2013
My wife is working as a govt teacher since 6 years. he had experienced miscarriage twice and it was hurted like anything. After regular teatment according to our doctor she had minor laproscopic opeartion before concieve. Now she preganat for 03 months old and got circleage opeartion. Doctor strictly said no movement till 36 weeks of prgnanacy and complete bed rest. This is very crucial situation and she does not have Medical leave too. what would be better way to take leave and possibilities. please advise
Posted by:  anand12345, India  Posted on: 4/24/2013
maternity relief is available or not for contract basis services?
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