Data on social security relating to women workers covered under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, the ESI Act, 1948 and the Factories Act, 1948, are presented in this Chapter.
Maternity Benefit Act : Tables 6.1 & 6.2
With a view to reducing the disparities relating to maternity provision under the various State and Central Acts, the Government of India, enacted a new Act known as the “Maternity Benefit Act, 1961”. It regulates the employment of women employees in certain establishments for certain specified period before and after child birth and provides for the payment of maternity benefits to them at the rate of average daily wage for the period of their actual absence i.e., the period immediately preceding and including the day of their delivery and upto a maximum of 6 weeks immediately following that day. The maximum period for which any woman can be entitled to maternity benefit is twelve weeks i.e., six weeks upto and including the day of her delivery and six weeks immediately following that day.
For the purpose of payment of maternity benefit, average daily wage of women is to be calculated on the basis of wages payable to her for the days on which she worked during the period of 3 calendar months immediately preceding the day from which she abstains herself on account of maternity, or the minimum rate of wage fixed or revised under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (11 of 1948), whichever is the highest.
The Act also provides for certain benefits in case of miscarriage, premature birth or illness arising out of pregnancy. A woman claiming maternity benefit is also entitled to medical bonus of Rs. 250.00 if no prenatal and postnatal care is provided by the employer free of charge. No women is entitled to maternity benefit unless she has actually worked in an establishment of the employer from whom she claims maternity benefits for a period of at least 80 days in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of her expected delivery.
The statistics presented in Tables 6.1 and 6.2 pertain only to the establishments submitting returns and vary from year to year.
The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 : Tables 6.3 & 6.4
The important benefits provided under this Act are: -
¨ Sickness benefit
¨ Maternity benefit
¨ Temporary and permanent disablement benefits
¨ Dependants benefit
¨ Funeral benefit
¨ Medical benefit
An insured person who is entitled to the benefits under the Scheme is not eligible to claim similar benefits under other Acts. As the Act has been implemented gradually in stages in selected areas, hence the statistics presented in Table 6.3 are not strictly comparable from year to year. Table 6.4 presents statewise number of beds provided as per the annual report of E.S.I.
The Factories Act, 1948 : Tables 6.5 & 6.6
Creche data presented in Table 6.5 and 6.6 are based on the annual returns under the Factories Act, 1948 and relate to factories covered under Sections 2m (i), 2m (ii) and 85 of the Act. Under Section 48 of the Act, every factory wherein more than 30 women workers are ordinarily employed, is required to provide and maintain a creche for the use of their children under the age of six years.