Maternity Leave: How to Avoid Labour Pains 7


Maternity leave is governed by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Sections 25 & 26.

An employee is entitled to 4 months maternity leave which constitutes 4 weeks prior to the birth of the child and 3 months thereafter. Payment for this period is not an employer’s responsibility as such is claimed from UIF. However a Company must ensure that its Company Policies and Procedures are adhered to as many institutions may have a policy stating that whilst on maternity leave they will pay the full salary or part thereof. Consistency is vital. An employer is also required to consider the nature of a pregnant woman’s work during pregnancy and for six months thereafter. At all times the Health and Safety requirements must be adhered to.

Dismissal of a pregnant employee leaves the Company open to a case being referred to the Labour Court which may result in a large monetary compensation being awarded to the employee. Discrimination and Automatic Unfair Dismissals can be financially crippling. Be cautious!

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7 thoughts on “Maternity Leave: How to Avoid Labour Pains

  • shuku tozvirevasei

    the truth is most employers realise that employees are too desperate to get a job and they will not take time to read through their contracts of employment before signing and commiting themselves, Nowadays employers choose to ignore the concept of martenity leave clause in your contracts, when you are claiming the benefits that is when you will realise that you are not entitled to getting any benefits since it won’t be part of your contract. You just have to be proactive and ask the issue of benefits before commiting yourself

  • Nokukhanya Cele

    I won’t lie to you Nicole, that was not in my employment contract and at the time I didn’t even pay attention to it. And for the past 2 years I had been facilitating “Relationship with the Employer” and I know it off by heart and I know I was supposed to enquire about this earlier. Thanks a lot Nicole tomorrow I will go and speak to her and find out more about the benefits that we get.

  • Nicole van Eeden Post author

    Hi Nokukhanya
    Your employer must state which benefits you will receive or not receive during maternity leave, in your contract and company policies. This important information may not be left out of your employment contract.

  • Nokukhanya Cele

    Is it fair for an employer to hide the fact that they have unpaid maternity leave from their employees and only tell them when one is pregnant and that employee has been with the company for 2 and a half years? I am personally stressed because of this.