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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