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When should your employee start her maternity leave?

by , 01 July 2013
In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), all female employees can take at least four consecutive months' unpaid maternity leave. But do you know when your employee is supposed to start her maternity leave? Read ion to find out so you can make the necessary arrangements during your pregnant employee's absence.

Let's say your employee has notified you that she's pregnant and you're now well aware that you're supposed to give her time off as per the terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). But, do you know when your employee is supposed to start her maternity leave so you can plan accordingly for her time off?

Find out when your employees are supposed to start her maternity leave

'There's no outright ban against a pregnant woman working in the four weeks leading up to the birth of her baby,' says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

Instead, this leave can start at any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth, unless otherwise agreed. Or on a date from which a medical practitioner or midwife certifies it's necessary for her health or that of her unborn child.

Remember, for you to make arrangements regarding your employee's absence, she must notify you in writing (unless she can't) of the dates on which she intends to begin maternity leave and return to work 

This means she must let you know:

  • At least four weeks before she intends to start her maternity leave; or
  • If it isn't reasonably practicable to do so, as soon as she can. Keep in mind that there are times when she might need to start her maternity leave earlier than planned.

Knowing when your employee will start her maternity leave will allow you to make the necessary arrangements during her absence.




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