Maternity and Work

Maternity Leave

A female employee is to give notice to her employer of her confinement through a written medical certificate that states that the confinement will probably take place within six weeks immediately after the date of the certificate. On receipt of this certificate, the employer has to immediately permit the female employee in question to absent herself from work until her confinement. He is not to permit or require her to return to work until the expiry of six weeks immediately after her confinement. This means that the pregnant employee is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. Within 21 days immediately after her confinement, a female employee is to inform her employer of the date of confinement through a written certificate.

Where a female employee delivers to her employer a written certificate that the employee is suffering from an illness arising out of her confinement and is consequently unfit to return to work, the employer will not permit or require her to return to work until the expiry of eight weeks immediately after her confinement.

The maternity leave can be extended further by six weeks where the employee is suffering from an illness arising out of her confinement and is consequently unfit to return to work.

Source: § 113 of the Employment Act, 2010 and Rule 2 of Code of Good Practice: Maternity Benefits and Family Responsibility

Income

The employer has to pay every female employee whilst she is absent from work because of maternity leave an allowance of not less than 50 per cent of the basic pay and other benefits or 50 thebe per day, whichever is greater.

If a female employee works for another employer during maternity leave, she forfeits her entitlement to maternity allowance.

Maternity allowance is paid in the following three instalments:

(a) the first, for the period of absence up to and including the day of confinement, is paid within 48 hours immediately after the employee delivers the medical certificate;

(b) the second, for the period of absence of six weeks immediately after the day of confinement, is paid on the return of the employee to work or, where that period has been extended, on the day she would otherwise have been due to return to work; and

(c) the third, where there has been an extension of two weeks, is paid within 48 hours immediately after the employee deliver the required medical certificate.

Source: §113 of the Employment Act, 2010; Rule 3 of the Code of Good Practice: Maternity Benefits and Family Responsibility

Free Medical Care

The Employment Act, 2010 does not require an employer to pay the medical expenses or any part of such expenses incurred by a female employee during or attributable to her pregnancy or confinement.

Medical services included maternity care are provided by public hospitals which are accessible to all.

Source: § 119 of the Employment Act, 2010

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