Maternity Leave

At law, a pregnant employee is entitled to maternity leave. In the case of an employee who is pregnant, breastfeeding or has recently given birth, and who could be exposed to a risk at work that could jeopardise her health and safety and/or the pregnancy/the child, such employee is entitled to special maternity leave as long as the risk exists.

An employee is also entitled to time off without loss of pay or any other benefit, in order to attend ante-natal examinations, if such examinations have to take place during her hours of work.

A pregnant employee can resort to maternity leave for an uninterrupted period of eighteen (18) weeks. The first fourteen (14) weeks are paid by the employer but the weeks beyond the first fourteen (14) weeks are not paid by the employer. This is without prejudice to any entitlement for payment which may be effected by virtue of the Social Security Act with regards to the extra weeks after the first fourteen (14) weeks.

She has to notify her employer in writing of the date when she intends to avail herself of such entitlement at least four weeks before its commencement, in so far as is reasonably practicable. The employee is obliged to avail herself of six (6) weeks of the total entitlement immediately after the date of confinement. Another four (4) weeks are to be taken immediately before the expected date of confinement, unless agreed otherwise between the employer and the employee. The remaining balance of entitlement to be availed of, in whole or in part may be taken, either immediately before or immediately after the aforementioned periods, as the employee may decide.

On termination of maternity leave, the employee has the right to resume work in the post formerly occupied on the commencement of the maternity leave and if such post is no longer available, to a related post.

This entitlement is regulated by S.L. 452.91 - Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations.

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