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Maternity leave protections and obligations

If you have worked for your employer for at least 3 months, you have maternity protection against retrenchment and dismissal without sufficient cause during pregnancy. You and your employer also have certain obligations during maternity leave.

Your maternity protection as an employee

If your employer terminates your employment without sufficient cause while you are pregnant, or retrenches you during your pregnancy, they must pay the maternity benefits you would have been eligible for.

To qualify for this maternity protection, you must have:

  • Worked for your employer for at least 3 months before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.
  • Been certified pregnant by a medical practitioner before receiving the notice of dismissal or retrenchment.

Your obligations as an employee

If you are an employee on maternity leave, you cannot work for another employer during your maternity leave. If you do so, your maternity benefit will be forfeited and you may also be dismissed.

An employer's obligations

An employer has the following obligations to employees who are on maternity leave:

  • Continue to pay an employee’s salary throughout her maternity leave as if she had been working without a break.
  • Not ask an employee to work during the first 4 weeks of her confinement.
It is an offence for an employer to dismiss an employee while she is on maternity leave.

Relevant legislation

Maternity leave protection and benefits are provided for under: