The law sets out the legal minimum leave entitlements for mothers.
Agreements between employers and employees may provide for better arrangements than the statutory minimum.
The statutory entitlements are as follows:
The law requires that an employee take a minimum of two weeks’ (four weeks for those who work in factories) maternity leave immediately following the birth.
All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to one year’s (52 weeks’) maternity leave, regardless of length of service with the employer. This is a single continuous period and is made up of:
26 weeks’ Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML) – during which the contract of employment continues, and during which the employee must continue to receive all her contractual benefits except (unless agreed otherwise) wages or salary.
26 weeks’ Additional Maternity Leave (AML) – during which the contract of employment continues, but only certain terms of that contract apply.