I have been working in a private company for two years. In the side contract that I signed with the company, it is stated that I am not entitled to maternity leave. I am about to give birth, so I applied for maternity leave, but the company allowed me leave for only a month and without any entitlements.
My question is: What is the position of the law on this behaviour and on my signing of the side contract stating that I am not entitled to maternity leave? If I am entitled to maternity leave, what benefits must be paid to me and how long is the maternity leave? Please advise.
I would advise the questioner the following:
The clause you signed regarding the discharge of your maternity right is considered null and void because each provision contradicting the provisions of the labor law, as per its Article 65 clause 3, even if it was existing prior to its enforcement, shall be deemed null and void, unless it is more beneficial to the worker. Each discharge, reconciliation or waiver of the rights arising for the worker hereunder shall be null and void if it violates its provisions.
You are still entitled to maternity leave of (60) sixty days, according to Article 30 of the law and the following:
a. The first (45) forty-five days with full wage; and
b. The following (15) fifteen days with half wage.
The female worker may, after using the maternity leave, be absent from work without a wage for a period not exceeding continuous or intermittent (45) forty-five days. If this absence is due to her sickness or her child’s sickness resulting from pregnancy or childbirth, which does not allow her to return to her work. Such sickness shall be proven by a medical certificate issued by the medical entity. This period is not included within the service term, for which the female worker is entitled to end of service benefits or the period of contribution in the retirement scheme in accordance with the legislation in force in this regard. If the female worker gives birth to a sick child or a child of determination, whose health condition requires a constant companion, according to a medical report issued by the medical entity, she has the right to a leave of thirty (30) days with full pay starting after the end of the maternity leave and she the right to extend the leave for a period of (30) thirty days without pay.
After returning from maternity leave and for a period of not more than (6) six months from the date of delivery, the female worker shall be entitled to one or two breaks per day to breastfeed her child, provided that the two breaks do not exceed an hour.
Being on a maternity leave or absent from work as mentioned in this Article shall not prejudice the female worker’s right to obtain the other leaves.