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Pregnant woman gets 70 days maternity leave

Under the new Labor Law (although it is quite old by now, having been enacted on Feb 20, 2010) a pregnant woman gets 70 days maternity leave.

Now the same privilege was given in such cases in the previous law so what is the difference between the old and new Labor Laws.

Both the laws look exactly the same?

Can you please explain the difference as far as the maternity leave is concerned.

Answer: Similar questions have been answered a number of times but as it has been over a year since we answered such a query we will try once to clear all doubts in this regard. The old and the new laws may look the same but they are not and a close examination will show the benefits for a pregnant woman have increased.

First of all, the old law also granted 70 days paid maternity leave but you got 40 days before birth of the baby and 30 days after that and if you did not calculate the date of the birth you ended up losing a number of days before the birth of the child. So the date of the birth was important. Now you don’t have to make this calculation.

You can start the maternity leave whenever you want as long as the baby is born during the leave. It doesn’t matter whether this takes place — at the start, middle or towards the end.

Secondly, if a woman took maternity leave (according to the previous Labor Law) she forfeited the annual leave for that year but now maternity leave has been delinked from the annual leave and no leave is lost. So you don’t have to worry about losing your annual leave if you avail maternity leave.

Thirdly, without any medical certificate — as required in the previous law — a woman at the end of the maternity leave can take unpaid leave for a period not exceeding four months just through a simple request.

And importantly, no woman can be dismissed from service during this leave or during absence from work because of a sickness that is proved by a medical certificate that states that the sickness resulted from pregnancy or giving birth.

In addition to the maternity leave, on her return to work, a working woman shall be allowed a two-hour break during her working hours in order to feed her baby. On the same issue, the law decreed that the employer shall establish a nursery for children below the age of four at the place of work in the event where the number of female workers in the company exceeds 50 or the number of workers exceeds 200.

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