Maternity leave extended for premature births
The Government recently announced that with effect from 1 October this year, mothers can extend both maternity leave and benefits to encompass the pre-term period of the birth of the child. The additional leave and benefits are to be added to the end of the statutory 26-week maternity leave period.
Under the Maternity Protection Acts, employees are required to go on maternity leave at least two weeks prior to the expected due date i.e. 37th week of pregnancy. As such, if a mother gives birth in the 33rd week of her pregnancy, an extra four weeks of leave and benefit can then be obtained after the duration of the normal 26-week leave and benefit period. Although, this new provision is not yet statutory, it will apply to mothers of pre-term babies born on or after 1 October.
For further advice, view the SFA's guideline on maternity leave or contact Ciara McGuone, SFA Executive on 01 605 1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.