Pregnancy, maternity leave and labour law



South Africa's labour laws protect women employees when they become pregnant and ensure that they receive maternity leave.

The Department of Labour has issued a Code of Good Practice on the protection of employees during pregnancy and after the birth of a child.

The Code, issued in terms of the BCEA, is aimed at protecting pregnant and post-pregnant employees as well as at protecting the employee?s newborn child. As mentioned, the Code obliges employers to:

* Encourage women employees to inform the employer of their pregnancy as early as possible so as to ensure that the employer can assess risks and deal with them

* Evaluate the situation of each employee who has informed the employer that she is pregnant.

* assess risks to the health and safety of pregnant or breast-feeding employees within the workplace

* Implement appropriate measures to protect pregnant or breast-feeding employees

* Supply pregnant or breast-feeding employees with information and training regarding risks to their health and safety and measures for eliminating and minimising such risks

* Maintain a list of jobs not involving risk to which pregnant or breast-feeding employees could be transferred.

Download the Code of Good Practice on Pregnancy

Advice for Employers of Pregnant Women

Look after your pregnant employees, by Ivan Israelstam

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