The Central Administrative Tribunal of New Delhi ruled that every Temporary, Ad Hoc and Contractual women employee is entitled to take maternity leave. The tribunal while adjudicating the case observed temporary, ad hoc or contractual employees do not qualify for the benefits for as a regular employee but maternity leave stands on different footing.
The principal bench of CAT while adjudicating the complaint filed by Anuradha Arya observed that temporary, ad hoc and contract women employees are also entitled to maternity leave.
The applicant filed the instant complainant after she was denied a grant of maternity leave & benefits as per the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
Arya was a contractual TGT Sanskrit at Government Girl’s Senior Secondary School, West Patel Nagar (New Delhi). She had joined the school on September 15, 2014, and her appointment was renewed in July 2015. At that time, her pregnancy was at an advanced stage. Her request for maternity leave was rejected by the Principal. She later submitted several representations to other school authorities. She was advised complete bed rest by her doctor. Under the circumstances, while she waited for a response from school authorities, she was left with no other option than taking maternity leave. Arya was orally informed by the school authorities that she has been terminated because she took the maternity leave without permission from the management.
Advocate Amit K Pateria, appearing from applicant’s side, pointed out before the tribunal that the applicant qualifies to get maternity benefit to 2nd pregnancy as per the statutory law on the subject. He also contended that “This was the first issue of the applicant and she had applied for maternity leave for the first time”.
The counsel further argued that ad hoc employees cannot be precluded from availing maternity leave as it would result in the violation of Article 42 of the Constitution of India.
In its ruling relied upon the decision of Supreme Court in “Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vs. Female Workers(Muster Roll) & Anr.” which laid down that women who constitute almost half of the segment of the society have to be honoured and treated with dignity at cases where they work to earn their livelihood.
The tribunal ordered that benefits of maternity leave with full salary cannot be denied to a female employee appointed on contractual basis.The court also ordered that applicant may be allowed to resume service as a guest teacher in terms of her original engagement letter dated 07.07.2015.
The court directed the school authorities to release the wages to the applicant within three months from the date of order and disposed of the petition.