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Garfield (N/A)     22 June 2013

Resignation while in pregnancy

Hi All,

I am working with a firm where in i need to serve at least 2 months of notice period before i resign. Now i am pregnant and i have unnecessary work pressure on me. I can't take leaves when i am not well and moreover my health is overall affecting my professional career. I just want to confirm that if i decide to resign due to my health while i am pregnant, do i still need to serve a notice period for 2 months or can i resign with immediate effect.? Any responses are greatly appreciated. Please help me out, i am in a great dilemma.



 8 Replies

ADVOCATE Prem Joshi (Advocate/ Legal Consultant)     22 June 2013

Take the maternity leave if it is in your HR policy or if you have decided to resign then send the resignation mail to your firm on the ground of genuine health problem.

Hemang (Advocate)     22 June 2013

Is there any exception in the rule framed by the Company that no notice or notice pay would be required in case of employee being pregnant? If it is so, you can avail the benefit of exemption. If not, you may pay the notice pay and say good bye

Garfield (N/A)     22 June 2013

Hi Sir,

Thanks for the prompt reply but my company says that i need to serve 2 months of notice period no matter what. I am even willing to pay them the shortfall but they aren't willing to do so. Can i do something about this. Is there a clause in the Maternity benefit act, that i can resign from my organization without giving the notice period if i am genuinely not keeping well.?


Kumar Doab (FIN)     22 June 2013


Learned experts/members have given valuable advice. Kindly follow it.


The good offices of the company can waive off notice period/pay.

Employee may apply goodwill, rapport, persuasion, persistence, reasoning, negotiation skills.


You have posted that:



--------“Now i am pregnant”


First of all submit in writing, information on pregnancy (even if you later decide to resign)

to good offices of your appointing authority, MD, with a copy to Head-HR, Line Manager (under proper acknowledgment with a copy to you) and attach copy of the Doctor’s Rx/certificate showing expected date of delivery…………………………………..


It is not clear whether your company is exerting pressure on you or not.

There are threads suggesting that line managers/HR/employers adopt tactical approach to obtain resignation from a pregnant women. The thought process may be that a pregnant woman may need even more leave due to family responsibilities, complication/sickness arising due to pregnancy/delivery and may not be available at workstation.



Tactically obtaining resignation from a pregnant women is considered safe.


Extracting resignation by coercion/threat/force is offence.

Extracting resignation from a pregnant woman that too if she has reported pregnancy can become a situation difficult to handle for line managers/HR/employer……………….



During period of maternity benefit ( as defined in Maternity Benefit Act) employment is protected.


{ When a woman absents herself from work in accordance with the provisions of the Act, it shall be unlawful for her employer to discharge or dismiss her during or on account of such absence. {Section 12}}





-Maternity Leave has been enhanced from 90 days to 180 days in case of various State Public Sector Undertakings, Statutory Boards………….


In case of other employees:



Total Maternity benefit 12 weeks: out of which not more than 6 weeks shall precede the date of expected delivery.


Then another one month leave can be availed: A woman suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy delivery……………………..{Section 10}.





-------“ and i have unnecessary work pressure on me.”



A pregnant woman can also request her employer not to give her any work which is of an arduous nature……………………………….. On such a request being made by her, the employer shall not give her such work during such period. {Section 4}



---------“ I can't take leaves when i am not well”


It is not in good taste to deny sick leave, supported by doctor’s medical certificate.


It may be all the more difficult to decline leave application if lady has already reported pregnancy and her leave application is supported by medical certificate/Doctor’s advice and reason is sickness due to pregnancy/delivery.



There are many threads which you may find relevant and useful. You may go thru these.


You may proceed as deemed fit at your end.















mrunaline kalla (self)     24 June 2013

how and whom to report the workplace discrimination & harassment against the pregnant woman

Kumar Doab (FIN)     24 June 2013

3. Definitions.:

(a)  “appropriate Government” means…………………… the Central Government and in relation to any other establishment, the State Government;


(g) “Inspector” means an Inspector appointed under section 14;


14. Appointment of Inspectors. – The appropriate Governmentmay, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint such officers as it thinks fit to by Inspectors for the purposes of this Act and may define the local limits of the jurisdiction within which they shall exercise their function under this Act.

Thus you may check the appropriate government in case of your establishment and Inspector appointed by such government.



Generically speaking the Labor Inspector might be the Inspector and o/o Labor Commissioner should be in a position to clarify.

Attached File : 1026087001 maternity benefit act 1961.pdf downloaded: 142 times

Hemang (Advocate)     24 June 2013

It has been mentioned by you to the effect that "I am even willing to pay them the shortfall but they aren't willing to do so. Can i do something about this. Is there a clause in the Maternity benefit act, that i can resign from my organization without giving the notice period if i am genuinely not keeping well.?". 


Under the circumstances, obtain the medical certificate and send a notice to the company alongwith the resignation. You may make the payment in lieu of notice. No person can be compelled to serve. And in your case, the insistence to serve would amount to force labour and as such it would be violative of Section 27 of the Maternity benefit Act. So leave away. No worries. 

Garfield (N/A)     30 June 2013

Thanks a lot Hemang Sir,

Your response really makes me feel relieved. So now if i just send my company a notice along with the medical certificate and tell them that i can't serve the notice period for 2 months but can pay in lieu of the notice period, my company can't force me to serve the notice period? My only concern is, what if they say that they will not provide me the relieving letter if i don't serve the notice period, and in that case my whole experience goes to vain.


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