Lawstreet Journal

Karnataka High Court Refuses Petition To Avail 'Work From Home' Under Maternity Benefit; It Can Be Granted Only If Nature Of Work Permits

Lawstreet Journal 24 Mar 2022 6:26am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Karnataka High Court Refuses Petition To Avail 'Work From Home' Under Maternity Benefit; It Can Be Granted Only If Nature Of Work Permits

A single judge bench of Justice R Devdas, Karnataka High Court, while refusing relief to an employee working with Semi-Conductor Technology and Applied Research Centre, ('STARC'), has reiterated that maternity benefits such as allowing an employee to work from home, under section 5 (5) of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, could be given only in case where the nature of work assigned to the women is such that it is possible for her to work from home.

Case background: 

The petitioner, working as a Senior Executive Engineer with the organisation, had approached the Court challenging two communications issued by the respondent-organisation and sought a direction to the respondent to consider her representations for sanction of child care leave with retrospective effect and to regularise the petitioner's salary and to release the salary withheld from 24.05.2021. By these communications the petitioner was called upon to join duties immediately and regularise the absence from 24.05.2021.

Petitioners’ arguments

It was contended that the provisions of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is applicable to the petitioner who is an employee of the respondent-organisation which is a fully funded organisation controlled by the Government of India. The petitioner should be allowed to carry on her work from home after availing the maternity benefit for the period as provided under the Act.

Moreover, notifications have been issued by the Central Government, directing all the Public Sector Undertakings, which include the respondent- organisation, to ensure that as far as possible, provisions should be made to lactating mothers to work from… Continue Reading...

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