Harare-The Zimbabwean Government has agreed in principle to do away with existing one-year qualifying period for female employees to go on maternity leave.
This was said by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Sekai Nzenza. The Minister said Government wants to remove limitations to granting of paid maternity leave and the proposals would enable female employees to enjoy the right to paid maternity leave despite their length of service in line with the national Constitution.
“These proposals would align the Labour Act (28:01) with the Constitution, which provides for maternity benefits in Section 65,” said Minister Nzenza.
Employers are bound by section 18 of the Labour Act. Pregnant women are entitled to be away from work on child birth related business on full pay for 98 days on condition that they have been in that employment for at least one year.
Maternity leave rights cannot be claimed by women, who were already pregnant when they became employed. They will take unpaid maternity leave. This is an attempt to balance the various competing interests — that is — business, human rights and health.
Mothers and new born babies need special attention during this time but business interests must be considered as well.
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