The object of the act is to protect the dignity of motherhood and childhood and the dignity of a child’s birth by providing for the full and healthy maintenance of the women and her child at the important time when she is not attending work.
This Act is to regulate the employment of women in establishments/ factories for certain periods before and after child birth. Further the act prohibits the employer from employing or permitting a pregnant womanto work any establishment during the six weeks following her delivery or miscarriage.
Employer should not give any hard work to pregnant woman or working involving long hours of standing or any work which may lead to miscarriage or ill health.The employer should not discharge her or change her conditions of service while she is on maternity leave.The maximum period of benefits fixed 26 weeks 12 weeks before delivery and 12 weeks after delivery. She is eligible for cash benefits and non- cash benefits/ privileges. She is entitled to two nursing breaks of 15 minutes each till the child attains fifteen months of age. She is eligible for medical bonus, Leave for miscarriage and tubectomy operation, leave for illness arising out of pregnancy.
Employer is required to maintain in Form A for women employees and submit Annual Return to the authorities under Maternity Benefit Act and display an abstract in the notice board.Employer is punishable withimprisonment which may extend to one year and with fine for contravention of this Act.