Can my employer terminate my employment when I am on a maternity leave?

No, your employer cannot terminate your employment on a maternity leave in India. No employer can deny a woman employee’s maternity benefit. You can only be terminated on grounds of gross misconduct only after providing you with a legal notice. If your employer denies your maternity benefit or has dismissed or discharged you from services, you can take the following measures:

  • Contact the HR Department: You can take your grievance to the HP department of your company. Usually, the HR representatives are able to clear up any confusion or grievance that arise between the employee and employer. If no resolution is provided by the HR, you can take the next step.

  • Send a legal notice to the employer: You can consult an employment and labour lawyer in India and send a legal notice to your employer regarding the denial of your maternity benefit. A legal notice speaks volumes. But, if your employer still does not respond, take them to the court.

  • Approach the Labour Court: You can hire an employment and labour lawyer in India to file a case against your employer in a Labour Court.

An employer who denies a woman employee’s maternity benefit claim in India can be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 months, fine for up to Rs. 5000, or both. If your employer has dismissed or discharged you from service, he can be punished with imprisonment for 3-12 months.


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