One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act. However, those female employees who had already availed 12 weeks of maternity leave before enforcement of the Amendment Act were not entitled to avail the extended benefit of the 26 weeks’ leave. The said Act is applicable to all mines, plantations, shops and establishments and factories. These mines, plantations, shops and establishments could be either in an organized sector or an unorganized sector. Further, it is also applicable to all female employees who are employed in any capacity directly or through any agency i.e. either contractual or as a consultant.