Job Protection

No Harmful Work

Under the Labour Act, 2007, an employer is prohibited from engaging a pregnant employee to perform any work, including overtime work, between 10 pm to 7 am from 8 weeks before her expected date of confinement to 8 weeks after her confinement.

Under Regulations relating to Health and Safety of Employees at Work, 1997, no person may require a pregnant worker to work in a respirator zone where hazardous chemical substances are used such as lead in a form which can be inhaled, ingested or otherwise absorbed, organic mercury compounds, polybromophenlene (PBB) and polychlorobiphenylene (PCB), arsenic, cadmium, carbon disulphide, estrogenic compounds, aromatic chlorinated hydrocarbons, organophosphate pesticides, or nicotine. Where a woman is employed in work which exposes her to lead, she must be temporarily suspended from work if she becomes pregnant. Similarly, no employer is to allow a female employee who is pregnant to work in an environment where she is liable to be exposed to ionizing radiation. Furthermore, no pregnant woman is to be employed in any area where the noise level is in excess of 85dB(A).

The law does not provide as to the type of actions the employer is required to take in order to protect the health and safety of pregnant workers other than removing them from work site where harmful work is being done.

Source: §19(2) of the Labour Act, 2007 and Rule 194, 2.(2)(8)(4)(a) of Annexure-E, 199(7), 8 of Schedule 3(2) of Annexure-F of Regulations relating to Health and Safety of Employees at Work, 1997

Protection from Dismissals

An employer cannot dismiss an employee on her maternity leave or upon the expiry of her maternity leave for the purpose of reduction in the workforce or on any grounds arising from her pregnancy, delivery, or family status or responsibility. Furthermore, employees on maternity leave are protected from dismissals arising from collective termination or redundancy. However, the protection from dismissal will not apply if the employer has offered the employee comparable alternative employment and she has unreasonably refused to accept the offer.

Source: §26 & 34 of the Labour Act, 2007

Right to Return to Same Position

There is no provision in law which related to return to the same position.

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