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We are engaged in the manufacture of readymade garments and sometimes employ some women as daily wagers when there is pressure of work. My query is whether such a daily wager would also be entitled to maternity leave - The Maternity Benefit Act,1961

If an employee has completed 80 days' service and is employed in any establishment employing 10 or more employees, she will be entitled to maternity leave. There is also a case by Madras High Court wherein it has referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. Female Workers (Muster roll), 2000(3) SSC 244 wherein it was observed that the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act would indicate that they are only in consonance with the directive principles of state policy as set out in Articles 39 and 42 of the Constitution of India. A woman employee, at the time of advanced pregnancy cannot be compelled to undertake hard labour as it would be detrimental to her health and also to the health of the foetus. 

L. Kannaki vs. Govt., Chennai, 2012 (1) CLR 374 (Mad. HC)


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