Women Employee Entitled to Maternity Leave Irrespective of Nature of Employment- Allahabad HC

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April 24, 2019

Case name: Anshu Rani v. State of U.P.

In the instant case, the Petitioner prayed for directing the Respondent District Basic Education Officer to grant her maternity leave with honorarium. The Respondent authority in the case had granted the Petitioner maternity leave for 90 days instead of 180 days. Aggrieved by the same, the Petitioner filed the writ petition wherein the Respondent has averred that maternity leave was rightly granted only for a period of 90 days in view of the Government Orders dated 20.11.2017 and 3.1.2018.

The Petitioner on the other hand has contended that she is entitled for the benefit of the provisions contained in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 as has been amended by Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 and in view of the amendment any order contrary to the same is liable to be ignored.

Bench’s Verdict

The High Court of Allahabad allowed the petition while directing the Respondent authority to grant 180 days of maternity leave and made the following observations in the case:

While referring to the Amendment Act of 2017, the High Court noted that the decision of the Central Government has been adopted by the State of U.P. for its employees vide Government Order dated 08.12.2008 and 24.03.2009 and perusal of the said orders makes it clear that the State Government has adopted same policy as is enforced by the Central Government for grant of Maternity Leave as well as Child Care Leave to its employees.

While elucidating on the need of maternity leave, the Court opined that maternity leave is a social insurance given for maternal and child health and family support. That from perusal of different provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 as amended in the year 2017 as well as the policy of the Central Government to grant child care leave and Government orders issued by the State Governments in the State of U.P. adopting the same for its female employees, the female employees of the State of U.P. are entitled for the benefits of the maternity leave as contained in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 as amended by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017.

It was further noted by the Court that after going through the large number of judgment and the matter in great detail, the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Dr. Rachna Chaurasiya Vs. State of U.P. and others directed the State Government to grant maternity leave to all female with full pay of 180 days, irrespective of nature of employment, i.e., permanent, temporary/ad hoc or contractual basis.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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