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Maternity Leave and Benefits - What does the Law Say?


Bringing in a child into the world should not put an end to a woman's dream of paving their way in their chosen careers and strive for success in their workspace. With this is mind, the government has guaranteed to protect the rights of women employees in private and governmental organisations by allowing them the space and time to bond with their child, preserving their dignity of motherhood as well as safeguarding the mother and child's health. However, it is important to understand the constitutional basis and reasons for the enactment of the Act and application to the context of contemporary workforce norms and current societal trends.

This course discusses the foundational principles of Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, its constitutional base and history, various sections therein, dealing with different facts of maternity leaves, circumstances and conditions that may pose as obstacles to realising those rights, actions that need to be taken when such rights are violated. The course is especially beneficial for women in workplace as it provides in-depth knowledge of laws applicable to exercise inherent rights such that action can be taken in case there are instances of violation by employers.

Course Outcome


After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the evolution and development of the maternity benefit law in India and the constitutional provisions which mandate the protecting of maternity rights
  • Know the significance of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 in its entirety and where it stands in a comparative realm of global maternity law standards
  • Make rational suggestions backed by further research (statistics, reports, trends) on how to improve the existing scenario by tackling immediate challenges

Course Outline

  • Module 1 – Introduction
  • Module 2 – Maternity Benefits Act, 1961
  • Module 3 – Maternity Benefits in Private and Government Organisations
  • Module 4 – Conclusion
  • Certification Exam/ Assessment



Honors Badge

Who Should Take This Course?

  • Lawyers
  • Legal Advisors and Counsel
  • Women Workforce
  • Law Students and Researchers
  • Other stakeholders interested in learning the Maternity Benefits Act

Level: Beginner

Language: English

Duration: 6 Months

Evaluation Method

Learners must attempt the exam at the end of the course and secure at least 50% marks to obtain the course certificate.

About the Author

Ananya Sarkar is an advocate in Delhi, working under the guidance of Padma Bhushan PP Rao, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India. Previously, she was working as legal officer in a corporate. She is a graduate from KIIT Law School, Bhubaneswar with specialisation in Taxation Laws.

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