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Amendment entitles women to 84 days maternity leave

The Government has amended the law lifting hitherto prevailed restrictions on maternity leave for women with two or more children.

The new amendments to the law make all women entitled to 84 days of maternity leave irrespective of the number of children they have.

As per the existing law, women with two or more children are only entitled to 42 days maternity leave whereas women who give birth to their first and second child get 84 days maternity leave.

The Labour, Trade Union Relations and Sabaragamuwa Development Ministry has gazetted two Amendment Bills to the Maternity Benefits Ordinance (Chapter 140) and the Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act (Chapter 129) on Wednesday, to grant 84 days of maternity leave for every woman who give birth to a live child.

Out of the 12 weeks of maternity leave, the woman can utilize two weeks’ leave prior to her confinement.

If she worked any number of days during the last two weeks before her confinement, she can utilize such leave with the rest of 10 weeks’ leave immediately after her confinement.

If the confinement does not result in a live child, the woman will receive 42 days maternity leave. Out of that she can utilize two week’s leave prior to her confinement.

Maternity leave is paid leave given in addition to holidays and other annual leave an employee is entitled to.

The two Bills will be presented in Parliament for its First Reading at a future date.