Cyprus extends Maternity Leave

Cyprus extends Maternity Leave

Amendments to the Protection of Maternity Law have now extended maternity leave to 22 weeks benefiting expecting mothers and those already on maternity leave as of March 1, 2024.

On 1st March 2024, an amendment to the Protection of Maternity Law of 1997 was published in the Official Gazette (N.14(I)/2024) whereby, among others, the maternity leave was extended from 18 consecutive weeks to 22 consecutive weeks. Notably, 11 weeks is considered compulsory leave and must be taken at least two weeks before the week of the expected delivery date.

The extension to 22 weeks also applies in the case where the employee has her child through a surrogate mother. A surrogate mother is also entitled to maternity leave of 14 weeks, which are taken from the second week prior to the week of the expected childbirth.

In case of adoption for a first child, maternity leave is extended by the amendment, from 16 consecutive weeks to 20 consecutive weeks.

A female employee is entitled to maternity leave on presenting a medical certificate from a registered doctor stating the expected week of her delivery.

In the case of a second child, the maternity leave is set at 22 consecutive weeks and in the case of a third or more children, the maternity leave is set at 26 consecutive weeks.

Due to the hospitalization of her infant for health reasons, a new mother may receive an extra week of maternity leave for every 14 days of hospital stay, up to a maximum of 8 weeks, extended from the previous 6 weeks.

The recent amendments to the law apply also to employees who are already on maternity leave as at 1st March 2024.

It is also noted that the Social Insurance legislation has also been amended accordingly so that maternity allowance is granted to entitled employees for the additional period.

Protection against Dismissal

It is always important to remember that a female employee is protected against termination or notice of termination of employment during the period commencing when she notifies her employer of her pregnancy and ending 5 months after maternity leave. This does not apply in cases where the female employee is guilty of serious misconduct, or the relevant business has ceased to operate, or her fixed contract period has expired.

Female employees who gave birth may interrupt their employment for one hour a day or go to work one hour later or leave work one hour earlier until the baby turns 9 months old. The one-hour excuse period is considered as working time and continues to be paid.

If you have any queries about the above or need any assistance with employment law matters, please feel free to contact us at info@blegalcy.com.

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