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Maternity Leave

All about Maternity Leave in Kenya, Maternity aLeave and Salaries, Maternity and Days Off, Maternity Leave and Labour Laws on Mywage Kenya

How does an employee become eligible for maternity leave?

Section 29 of Employment Act, 2007 provides that a female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave on full pay if she gives not less than seven days written notice in advance, or a shorter period as may be reasonable in the circumstances, of her intention to proceed on maternity leave. A female employee who seeks to exercise her right to maternity leave shall, if required by the employer, produce a certificate as to her medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner or midwife.

How many days of maternity leave is an employee entitled to?

A female employee is entitled to three months maternity leave in addition to any period of annual leave she is entitled to, and sick leave if she happens to fall sick during her time of confinement and with the consent of the employer.

Is there any limit on the number of times that an employee can take maternity leave?

No. The law does not set a limit on maternity leave.

Can the period of maternity leave be extended?

Not in terms of extending the three months maternity leave but an extension may be granted, with the consent of the employer, by taking sick leave or annual leave, compassionate leave or other leave entitlements. In that event, the three months maternity leave entitlement is deemed to expire on the last day of such extended leave.

If an employee takes maternity leave would she still be entitled to full pay?

Yes. A female worker on maternity leave is entitled to be paid her full remuneration and other benefits to which she is otherwise entitled. This is the same for the two weeks paternity leave.

Can an employer terminate an employee because she is pregnant and on maternity leave, or fire them soon after resuming work from maternity leave for the same reason?

No. An employer shall not dismiss a woman worker because of her absence from work due to maternity leave. Section 5 (3) (a) specifies that no employer shall discriminate directly or indirectly, against an employee or prospective employee or harass an employee or prospective employee on grounds of pregnancy.

Can a pregnant woman be allowed to do overtime work?

The law is not specific on requirements to the health protection of pregnant women or new mothers identified. However, employers have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all workers at his worksite under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2007.

Can an employer post a pregnant woman outside her area of residence to work?

No relevant provisions are identified, though it is treated as in the case of overtime work and pregnant women.

Health and Safety: what does the law say when one is pregnant?

The law is not specific on requirements as to the health protection of pregnant women or new mothers. The Occupational Health and Safety Act does not provide any protection for pregnant employees in respect to pollution, and/ or hazardous working environments, even though employers have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all workers at their worksite under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2007.

Health and Safety: What about breastfeeding according to the law?

No relevant statutory provisions are identified in terms of protection of breastfeeding female employees, though some collective agreements offer some allowance for breaks for breastfeeding (without representing a general trend).

Working and Kids: Is there allowance for parental care?

The law does not specifically provide for any allowance for parental care.

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