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What is the period for which a woman is entitled to maternity benefit and what is the rate of the benefit?

(1) the maximum period for which any woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit shall be 12 weeks of which not rnore than 6 weeks shall precede the date of her expected delivery. If a woman dies during this period, the maternity benefit shall be payable only for the days up to and including the day of her death. If a woman, having been delivered of a child, dies during her delivery or during the period immediately following the date of her delivery for which she is entitled for the maternity benefit, leaving behind in either case the child, the employer shall be liable for the maternity benefit for the entire period but if the child also dies during the said period, then, for the days up to and including the date of the death of the child.
But no woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefit, for a period of not less than 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.

For the purpose of calculating the days on which a woman has actually worked in the establishment, the days for which she has been laid off or was on holidays declared under any law to be holidays with wages during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery shall be taken into account.

(2) A woman shall be entitled to the payment of maternity benefit at the rate of the average daily wage for the period of her actual absence, that is to say, the period immediately preceding the day of her delivery, the actual day of her delivery and any period immediately following that day. For the purpose of this provision, the average daily wage\' means the average of the woman\'s wages payable to her for the days on which she has worked during the period of 3 calendar months immediately preceding the date from which she absents herself on account of maternity, or the minimum rate of wage fixed or revised or under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 or 10 rupees, whichever is the highest.

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