Job Protection

No Harmful Work

The BCEA prohibits employment of pregnant workers or those nursing their children in work that is hazardous to their health or the health of their children. During the pregnancy and for the six months after the birth of child, an employer must offer a worker suitable alternative employment on terms and conditions that are not less favorable than her original terms and conditions. For example, if the employee is performing night work or her work poses a danger to her health and safety or to that of her child, she should be offered alternative employment when it is practicable for the employer to provide such reasonable accommodation.

Source: § 26 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 1997 (last amended in 2018)

Protection from Dismissals

It is unfair for an employer to dismiss a female worker due to her pregnancy or maternity leave. Laws consider dismissal of a worker on account her pregnancy, intended pregnancy, or other reasons related to her pregnancy, as automatically unfair.

Source: §185-187 of the Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995 (last amended in 2014)

Right to Return to Same Position

According to the Labour Relations Act, a female worker has the right to return to her same job/position and resume her employment on the same terms and conditions after availing her maternity leave.

The law considers it unfair dismissal if an employer does not allow a worker to resume work after using her maternity leave.

Source: §186 of the Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995 (last amended in 2014)