Legal Article - Employment Law

Maternity Leave Entitlement

Women have the right to paid time-off for antenatal care, which includes time-off to attend parentcraft classes.

All female employees, irrespective of hours of work or length of service, have the right to 26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave (OML). Those with one years’ service at the beginning of the 11th week before their baby is due (i.e. expected week of confinement - EWC) are entitled to delay their return to work until the end of the 29th week after the week of their baby’s birth (counting from the start of the week the baby was born). This is called additional maternity leave (AML) which can be an extra 26 weeks.

Maternity pay is provided for 39 weeks.

In addition, it is illegal to employ a woman in a workshop or factory within four weeks of her giving birth. Women who work for more than one employer will have separate maternity rights in relation to each.

Published: 27 May 2011

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