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Maternity Leave

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The Maternity Protection Acts, 1994 and 2004 and associated regulations, set out to provide specific rights for new and expectant parents of children.  This type of employment legislation sets out to provide limited maternity leave in advance of the birth of a child, and more substantial leave following the birth of a child for the mother of that child.  The laws also allow time off for the father of a child upon the death of the child’s mother during her period of maternity leave or additional maternity leave. 

The main rights under the legislation are set out here, as well as some other operational considerations such as notification procedures.  It is important to note that there is no entitlement to pay during maternity leave, and an Employee may be entitled to Maternity benefit subject to meeting certain qualification criteria.  However, an Employer may decide to provide payment for some or all of the period of leave, at their own discretion.  As with any benefit, it is important that decisions made in relation to pay are consistent, and should be supported by an explicit policy or term in the contract of employment.