Maternity Protection

Question and Answer

Question: What if miscarriage happened during work hours, is female employee still entitle for Maternity Leave?

According to EMPLOYMENT ACT 1955 Section 2 Interpretation, “confinement” means parturition resulting after at least twenty-two weeks of pregnancy in the issue of a child or children, whether alive or dead, and shall for the purposes of this Act commence and end on the actual day of birth and where two or more children are born at one confinement shall commence and end on the day of the birth of the last-born of such children.

Therefore, miscarriage happen after 22 weeks of pregnancy will entitle for Maternity Leave as well.

Question: Do all female employees entitle for Maternity Allowance?

  • A female employee has been employed by the employer at any time in the four months immediately before her confinement or she has been employed by the employer for a period of, or periods amounting in the aggregate to, not less than ninety days during the nine months immediately before her confinement is entitled for Maternity Allowance.

  • A female employee shall within a period of sixty days immediately preceding her expected confinement notify her employer of it and the date from which she intends to commence her maternity leave and if she commences such leave without so notifying her employer, the payment of maternity allowance to her may be suspended, until such notice is given to her employer.

  • According to EMPLOYMENT ACT 1955 Section 37 1(C), a female employee shall not be entitled to any maternity allowance if at the time of her confinement she has five or more surviving children, irrespective of age.

  • Any female employee who persistently refuse or fail to submit to free medical treatment provided by employer will forfeit to the extent of seven days of maternity allowance.

  • If a female employee, after giving notice to her employer that she expects to be confined, commences her maternity leave and dies from any cause during the eligible period, her employer or any employer who would have been, but for the death of the female employee, liable to pay any maternity allowance shall pay to the person nominated by her under section 41 or, if there is no such person, to her legal personal representative, an allowance at the rate calculated or prescribed as provided in subsection 37(2) from the day she commenced her maternity leave to the day immediately preceding her death.

Question: Will a pregnant female employee who about to leave the company entitle for Maternity Allowance?

  • According to EMPLOYEMENT ACT 1955 Section 40 (1), a female employee who is about to leave her employment and who knows or has reason to believe that she will be confined within four months from the date upon which she leaves shall before leaving her employment notify her employer of her pregnancy and if she fails so to do, she shall not be entitled to receive any maternity allowance from such employer.

  • Where there are more employers than one from whom the female employee would be entitled to claim maternity allowance in accordance with subsection (2) the employer who pays the maternity allowance shall be entitled to recover from such other employer, as a civil debt, a contribution which shall bear the same proportion to the amount of the maternity allowance paid to the female employee as the number of days on which she worked for such other employer during the period of nine months immediately preceding her confinement bears to the total number of days on which she worked during the said period.

Question: Can employer terminates the service of a female employee during her maternity leave?

Any employer who terminates the service of a female employee during the period in which she is entitled to maternity leave commits an offence, however such termination does not include termination on the ground of closure of the employer’s business.