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Female Officers Appointed On Contract Basis Also Entitled To Maternity Benefit : Kerala High Court

In a judgement which is in favor of female officials, Kerala High Court has ruled that female officials who were hired on a contractual basis were also eligible for Maternity Benefits under the Maternity Act. The judgement pertains to a case in which the petitioner was hired as a contract lecturer at the Centre for Professional and Advanced Studies (CPAS), which was established to take over the self-financing institutes under Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam who was awarded maternity leave for 180 days in 2014 and the full term leave was sanctioned with allowances.
Her position was later extended for another three years, beginning in March 2015. In course of working, and she requested maternity leave for 180 days.
According to the Special Rules established by CPAS and authorised by that state, a woman employee can go on a maternity on a leave ofg 180 days. However , as per rule , the benefit is restricted only to 90 days.
As a result, the CPAS authorised 180 days of maternity leave but awarded her limited leave with pay to 90 days which was challenged by the woman employee on which a divisional bench of Kerala High Court held that the unique regulations of a registered organisation cannot supersede the requirements of a Central Act.
As per sources, the court ruled , “The term ‘establishment’ referred to in the Maternity Benefit Act can be any and every establishment within the meaning of any law for the time being in force in the state in relation to establishments. For instance, the Payment of Subsistence Allowance Act, 1972 (Kerala) is a law in force in the state of Kerala which defines ‘establishment’, as one where service is carried on also as in the case of the establishments of the second respondent.

Anjani Kumar
Anjani Kumar

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