Job Protection

No Harmful Work

An employer may not require or permit pregnant or breastfeeding employees to perform work which is hazardous to their health or of their children. Certain conditions may present a threat to health and safety and this may include exposure to noise, vibration, radiation, electro-magnetic fields etc; working in extreme conditions i.e., excessive heat or cold; and exposure to harmful chemical substances.

Source: Rule 8 of Code of Good Practice: Maternity Benefits and Family Responsibility

Protection from Dismissals

Employment of a female worker during her maternity leave is protected. Where a worker is on maternity leave, the employer is prohibited from serving a termination of employment notice on her. Furthermore, any such notice given to a female employee which expires during maternity leave will is null and void.

No notice of intention to terminate the employment of a pregnant employee given without good cause within three months of her confinement, will affect her right to receive maternity allowance. Here, good cause is limited to acts of serious misconduct.

Source: § 116 of the Employment Act, 2010 and Rule 4 of the Code of Good Practice: Maternity Benefits and Family Responsibility

Right to Return to Same Position

The Employment Act, 2010 provides that any absences by the employee due to maternity leave is not to interrupt the employment of the employee concerned. The law also prohibits dismissal of a worker on maternity leave. This means that the worker has the right to return to the same position on completion of maternity leave.

Source: § 113 of the Employment Act, 2010

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