Pregnancy

Maternity leave rights

Before I tell my boss that I am pregnant I would like to be informed about my rights. Am I entitled to paid maternity leave?

The law concerning your right to maternity leave is laid out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, section 25. It is not a bad idea to go onto the government website www.labour.gov.za and read the relevant sections yourself. As you have said, being informed is important.

Legally you are entitled to at least four months of maternity leave. This leave should start at least four weeks before the baby is born, and you may not return to work for six weeks after the birth of the baby. These dates can be changed by a doctor or midwife. In other words, if your caregiver decrees that it is the best interest, then you could start maternity leave earlier than four weeks before the due date, or extend it beyond six weeks after the birth. You could even return to work earlier if you wished, but would need a letter from your doctor or midwife. The bad news is that your employer is not required to pay you during this time.

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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