Article 39 (c) of the Constitution of India provides for Directive Principles of State Policy. This aims for equitable distribution of resources of production among all citizens. It also aims to prevent the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. One such principle is ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work.’ As the name itself suggests, its purpose is to ensure that individuals who are doing an equal amount of work shall be entitled to equal remuneration. The term ‘equal pay’ includes basic salary, and also other benefits, such as bonuses and allowances.
To safeguard working women and their rights to remain self-reliant and economically independent, the Government of India has laid down certain laws to protect them. An example of this is the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, that aims at ensuring that women are fairly compensated as compared to their male counterparts. Another act, which is our main focus of discussion, is the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, that protects the rights of working women who are pregnant.