Whether a woman is experiencing motherhood for the first time or expecting her third
child, she deserves the exact amount of support and care. Maternity leave benefits provided
to a working woman cannot be restricted based on the number of children she already has.
In India, the first Maternity leave Act was established in 1961, known as The Maternity
leave Benefit Act 1961. It ensured that the female employees in India get the advantage of
paid maternity leave of 12 weeks post-delivery for taking care of their newborn child. The
act applied to every organization with more than ten employees and every female worker,
either working on a contract, or permanent basis, or engaged with agencies.
Maternity leave is referred to as the paid leave of absence from work that allows a female
employee the benefit of taking care of their newborn child while keeping their job intact
and getting the same salary.
In August 2016, the Rajya Sabha passed the revised Maternity leave Act which was also
approved by the Lok Sabha in March 2017. The updated act is now known as The Maternity
Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017.
Maternity leave for a third child in Central Government
In line with the amendment to the maternity act of 1961, the government of India has made
several changes, such as increasing the duration of paid maternity leave benefits from 12
weeks to 26 weeks (180 days) for the birth of the first two children.
However, if a woman is a central government employee and has two or more children, then
the employee will be eligible for only 12 weeks of maternity leave and six weeks of
paternity leave. In addition to that, if a female central government employee adopts a child
under the age of 3 months, then also she is eligible for a paid leave of 12 weeks.
Maternity leave for a third child in Delhi
As per the new ruling, no employer or state/central government can deny maternity
benefits for a third child. Working women in Delhi having two or more surviving children
shall be allowed maternity leave of 12 weeks, of which not more than six weeks should be
before the expected date of her delivery. In addition to the twelve weeks, 30 days of
Maternity leave shall be available for sickness arising out of complication, premature
delivery, or medical termination of pregnancy.
Maternity leave for a third child in Punjab
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court has stated that a female employee
can claim maternity leave benefits even upon the birth of her third child. After considering
the sensitivity of the matter, the Punjab government has permitted the benefit of six
months of paid maternity leave to a female employee for the birth of a third child.
Maternity leave for a third child in Haryana
In a directive with the potential of having huge consequences in Punjab, Haryana, and
Chandigarh, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court has defended that a
woman can claim maternity leave benefits even if she has two or more surviving children.
Female employees in the Haryana government are entitled to six months of paid maternity
leave for the birth of a third child.
Maternity leave for a third child in Maharashtra
Maharashtra government has also allowed the maximum period for which any female
employee shall be entitled to paid maternity leave benefit shall be twelve weeks, provided
that of which, not more than six weeks shall lead up to the date of expected delivery. In
addition to that, the limit for prenatal leave is also increased from six to eight weeks.
Maternity leave for a third child in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu government focuses on that, as per the Maternity Benefit Act 1961, there is no
provision regarding the restriction on the number of children to avail maternity leave.
Therefore, until there is no rule or regulation restrains in place, a female employee is
eligible to get maternity leaves.
After studying the view towards motherhood and its deep understanding of the importance
of wholesome nurturing of a newborn, the state government has acknowledged the
importance of maternity leaves.
On August 23, 2021, in a case involving a state government employee, Madras High Court
issued a Government Order increasing the limit for paid maternity leave benefits from 270
days (nine months) to 365 days (one year). However, there are a few exceptions.
Madras High Court believes that maximizing the maternity benefit will promote the well-
being of its working women staff. The upgraded maternity benefit under the said
government order (G.O.) is protected under Section 27(2) of the Maternity Benefit Act.
Maternity leave for a third child in Singapore
In accordance with the Child Development Co-Savings Act, a working female in Singapore
will be entitled to either 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave or 12 weeks of
maternity leave, depending on whether the child is a Singapore citizen, along with other