Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What are my entitlements under the Maternity Protection Act?

The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 entitle a pregnant employee to 26 consecutive weeks maternity leave. If a woman takes maternity leave, she must take a minimum of 2 weeks leave before the last day of her expected week of confinement. She must also take a minimum of four weeks leave after the last day of her expected week of confinement. In addition to maternity leave and additional maternity leave, the Acts also cover a range of issues including: time off for ante-natal and postnatal medical visits; the right to return to work All employees who have taken maternity leave are entitled to take an additional 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This is also known as 'unpaid leave'. This leave must commence immediately after maternity leave has ended. In order to avail of additional maternity leave, a woman must notify her employer in writing a minimum of four weeks before the additional maternity leave is due to commence. Available from the Equality Authority is a brochure outlining entitlements under the Acts - About the Maternity Protection Acts, 1994 and 2004. The full text of this brochure can be downloaded from the Equality Authority's website : click here. Alternatively you can contact the Equality Authority or email, write to the Equality Authority, Clonmel Street, Dublin 2 or by telephone on 01- 417 3333

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