Pregnancy and the Law

All about Pregnancy and the Law, Maternity Leave in South Africa, Maternity Benefits and Leave in South Africa and more on Mywage South Africa

The issue:

"I have been working for the same company for three years, as a receptionist. I have recently discovered I am pregnant. What now? Can I take maternity leave? Can they fire me afterwards?

The answer:

Can I take Maternity Leave?

Yes! All female employees have a right to four months maternity leave. By law your employer is not obliged to give you paid maternity leave, but you are entitled to four consecutive months of maternity leave. The maternity leave may begin at anytime from at least four weeks before the birth of the baby.

Can I be fired afterwards?

No! Although there have been cases where women find themselves unemployed after maternity leave, this is illegal and goes against the South African Labour Relations Act (Basic Conditions of Employment Act). Women are entitled to their jobs when returning from maternity leave and should not be discriminated against. They can also not be demoted or moved to a different position in their absence.

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Find out more about Maternity Leave in South Africa.

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