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Section 12 Maternity Benefit Act 1961: Dismissal- absence of Pregnancy

Section 12 (Dismissal during absence of pregnancy) of the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 —

❝(1) When a woman absents herself from work in accordance with the provisions of this Act, it shall be unlawful for her employer to discharge or dismiss her during or on account of such absence or to give notice of discharge or dismissal on such a day that the notice will expire during such absence, or to vary to her disadvantage any of the conditions of her service.

(2) (a) The discharge or dismissal of a woman at any time during her pregnancy, if the woman but for such discharge or dismissal would have been entitled to maternity benefit or medical bonus referred to in section 8, shall not have the effect of depriving her of the maternity benefit or medical bonus:

 Provided that where the dismissal is for any prescribed gross misconduct, the employer may, by order in writing communicated to the woman, deprive her of the maternity benefit or medical bonus or both.

 (b) Any woman deprived of maternity benefit or medical bonus, or both, or discharged or dismissed during or on account of her absence from work in accordance with the provisions of this Act, may, within sixty days from the date on which order of such deprivation or discharge or dismissal is communicated to her, appeal to such authority as may be prescribed, and the decision of that authority on such appeal, whether the woman should or should not be deprived of maternity benefit or medical bonus, or both, or discharged or dismissed shall be final.

 (c) Nothing contained in this sub-section shall affect the provisions contained in sub-section (1).❞



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Notes:

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (No. 53 of 1961) was amended by:
- the Central Labour Laws (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Act, 1970 (No. 51 of 1970) (w.e.f. 01-Sep-1971);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1972 (No. 21 of 1972) (w.e.f. 01-Jun-1972);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1973 (No. 52 of 1973) (w.e.f. 01-Mar-1975);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1976 (No. 53 of 1976) (w.e.f. 01-May-1976);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1988 (No. 61 of 1988) (w.e.f. 10-Jan-1989);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1995 (No. 29 of 1995) (w.e.f. 01-Feb-1996);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2008 (No. 15 of 2008) (w.e.f. 15-Apr-2008);
- the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 (No. 06 of 2017) (w.e.f. 01-Apr-2017).

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