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Maternity benefits for pregnant women in India

Maternity Benefits In India : Insurance Coverage, Paid Leaves & Everything Else You Need To Know

Any relaxations and helps that make woman’s life easier after childbirth can be termed as maternity benefits. In India, Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, was placed to ensure these benefits are provided to women in their workplace. Apart from the leave, their are various other things like health insurance which make things better for working moms.

The Maternity Benefits Act of 1961

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

The act was ammended in 2017 to keep up with the advancements brought by time.

Maternity Leave


Child birth brings a new member to your family, affecting your work life balance and demanding more of your time and energy. This brings in the The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, which allowed 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Maternity Benefits Act of 2017 increased this period of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. This helps moms to take care of their newborn’s needs and bond with them in a better way.

From this 26 weeks, you can have the first 8 weeks prior to the childbirth and 18 weeks after the delivery. In case you are adopting a child less than 3 months old, you get 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Maternity Benefits Act also applies to enterprises, and factories with ten or more employees, whether organized or unorganized. For organisations with 50 or more employees, ensuring crèche facilities is mandatory, and working from home is also an option.

The work from home angle

With COVID making people realise that working from home can be a good option, we need to discuss the work from home angle while discussing the maternity leave scenario in the country. If the nature of your work allows you to, a mutual discussion with your employer could allow you to work from home post the maternity leave.

Monetary incentive

An employee is allowed a healthcare incentive of Rs 3,500 in addition to her 12-week wage. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are eligible for a maternity bonus of at least Rs. 6,000 under the National Food Security Act of 2013.

Apart from this, an employer cannot dismiss an employee during the maternity leave period. A fine of Rs 5,000 or 1-year-imprionment or both can be levied to the employer in case of not following the policy.

Who is eligible for Maternity Leave in India?

Women employees working in the organisation for 80 or more days, who are pregnant with their first or second child are the only ones who can benefit form the Maternity Act. A mother with two or more children is permitted only 12 weeks of paid maternity leave in India.

Is Maternity leave in India paid?

Yes, maternity leave is a fully paid leave.

How long can I take maternity leave for?

In India, according to Maternity Benefit Act’s 2017 amendmenet, you can have fully paid maternity leave for 26 weeks.

Is there a provision for Paternity leave in India

While there is no formal policy in place for employees in the private sector, In Indian government employees get 15 days of paternity leave.

Insurance coverage

Maternity benefits with Corporate health insurance/ Group health insurance

Group health insurance policy, allows employers to customize maternity benefits in many ways. One is allowing you to set a limit for maternity within the overall sum assured. The options to customize group health insurance allows corporates to set different limits for normal delivery and caesarean delivery, for metro hospitals and for non-metro hospitals. Depending on the existing medical costs, materinty cover varies from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

Group Health Insurance allows you 0 waiting period, meaning you do not have to wait to take the support of your insurance, and the newborns are immediately covered in the policy.

The process to claim materntity benefits under your corporate health insurance is similar to raising any normal claim.

Offer the best maternity benefits to your team with Healthysure

There is a good chance that your corporate health insurance covers maternity benefits, if not, please feel free to reach out to our team and get the best for your employees.

Maternity benefits with Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

If you are covered under Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, ESIC provides 100% of average daily wages in cash up to 26 weeks in confinement and 6 week in case of miscarriage, during maternity leave and 12 weeks for commissioning mother and adopting mother.

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