Baby

Rights of Working Mothers in Sri Lanka

working mothers sri lankaIf you are a working mother planning to have a baby soon, the following points would be important to you. You are entitled for certain privileges during your pregnancy and after the delivery. Know about those in advance and do the needful in good time to enjoy the benefits without hassle.

Keep in mind that even though most privileges are born by state sector workers, it is becoming common for private companies to respect most women and their partner with respect to pregnancy and maternity leave.

How many days will I be getting as Maternity leave?
Any mother, regardless of being employed in the State Sector or in the Private Sector, is entitled for 84 days as Maternity Leave from the day of delivery. These 84 days are calculated excluding Saturdays and Sundays of the respective months that you will be nursing your baby at home. Therefore, you will most probably be at home until your baby turns 4 months. You, anyway, can enjoy the full salary for the months at home during this period.

State Sector employees, however, have special privileges in applying for “Half-pay Leave” and “No-pay Leave” in addition to the first formal 84 days that any mother would be entitled to have as Maternity Leave.

  • “Half-pay Leave”: If you are a State Sector employee, at the end of the first formal 84 days you can apply for another period of 84 days to nurse your baby at home. Unlike the first 84 days, the 84 days considered for “Half-pay Leave” will be calculated including both Saturdays and Sundays and therefore will extend maximally for a period of 3 months. You, however, will be enjoying only half the amount of your pay for the respective months on leave.
  • “No-pay Leave: If you decide to go on “No-pay Leave”, you can enjoy yet another fresh 84 days without salary. Similar to “Half-pay Leave”, “No-pay Leave” will also be calculated including Saturdays and Sundays and therefore will last for a period of 3 months.

Are there any leave for the Father due to a baby birth?
Yes. But, at present, this is only applicable to State Sector employees. If you are a father working in a government institution, you are entitled for 3 days off on behalf of your newborn baby. These 3 days should be taken only after and within the first 3 months of the baby birth.

When would I be returning to office after Maternity Leave?
Private Sector employees will have to get back to office after the first 84 days of Maternity Leave, that is when your baby is about 4 months. State Sector employees can decide to enjoy other privileges available for them and as a result, can choose to come after 7 months or 10 months if they decide to use “Half-pay Leave” and “No-pay Leave” respectively.

Am I entitled for any other leave once I returning to office after Maternity Leave?
Yes, mothers with new-born babies are entitled to take 1 ½ hours off daily. This short leave could be obtained according to your wish, either in the morning or in the afternoon until your baby completes 6 months (i.e. to come 1 ½ hours late to the office from the normal starting time, if taken in the morning hours or to leave office 1 ½ hours before the normal signing off time, if taken in the afternoon.)

However, State Sector employees can choose to enjoy the same leave during pregnancy, forgoing the leave after returning to office. In that case, you are entitled for it once you complete 5 months in pregnancy until the day of delivery.

How can I keep my employer informed about my leave requirement?
You can make a formal request for your employer’s approval in due course, especially when you are applying for extensions for Maternity Leave and leave mentioned under the point mentioned above. Do not forget to attach copies of relevant documents such as “Clinic Cards” with your request letter as a proof. This will help your employer to verify dates and other details.

 

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