Plea in HC for maternity leave to all women staff

Gauthami HS has sought the court’s directions to make provisions under Section 2 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, applicable to every woman employee in an establishment irrespective of the number of employees.

While hearing a woman’s plea challenging the denial of maternity relief by her employer, the High Court of Karnataka has issued notices to the Central and state governments.

Gauthami HS has sought the court’s directions to make provisions under Section 2 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, applicable to every woman employee in an establishment irrespective of the number of employees.

The petitioner stated that she is employed with FLOCERT Social and Economic Development India Limited and the employee strength of her office is nine and the respondents are legally bound to consider her representation.

She said in her petition that her employers denied her maternity benefits since the number of employees are fewer than 10 and the state government did not extend the provision of the Act by a declaration in the Gazette in terms of provision to section 2 of the Act.

Applicable to all

Section 2 of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 stipulates that the benefits of the Act should be applicable 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.

The section further mentions that the State Government may, with the approval of the Central Government, after giving not less than two months 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.

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