The Employment and Industrial Relations Act and subsidiary Legislation, such as Protection of Maternity, Urgent Family Leave, LN and Parental leave ar

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The Employ­ment and Indus­tri­al Rela­tions Act and sub­si­di­ary Legis­la­tion, such as Pro­tec­tion of Mater­nity, Urgent Fam­ily Leave, LN and Par­ent­al leave ar
The Employ­ment and Indus­tri­al Rela­tions Act and sub­si­di­ary Legis­la­tion, such as Pro­tec­tion of Mater­nity, Urgent Fam­ily Leave, LN and Par­ent­al leave are con­sidered as Fam­ily Friendly meas­ures. Com­ment from both an employee’s and employer’s per­spect­ives.
Pro­tec­tion of Mater­nity

The aim of this reg­u­la­tion is to safe­guard the rights of preg­nant employ­ees. It also caters for employ­ees who have given birth and to women who breast­feed dur­ing work. When an employ­ee is preg­nant, she should not lose her job. She shall not have a decrease in wages even when meas­ures are taken to pro­tect her health and safety.

Employ­ee Per­spect­ive

The mater­nity law stip­u­lates that preg­nant women shall not be fired for being preg­nant. There should be no change in wages. If the work­ing envir­on­ment dam­ages her health and safety then she has to be re-alloc­ated to a bet­ter place. If the job of the preg­nant women is phys­ic­ally labor­i­ous then she should be given an altern­at­ive job for the peri­od of preg­nancy.

The employ­ee will be given mater­nity leave if the employ­er is unable to give altern­at­ive work or change in the num­ber of work hours. When the mater­nity peri­od fin­ishes, she should be given the job she had before preg­nancy.

The employ­ee is entitled to four­teen weeks mater­nity leave. These four­teen weeks are divided into two parts. The first six weeks is com­puls­ory while the rest is option­al. Full wages are giv­ing in thir­teen weeks of mater­nity leave while the last week is unpaid.

She has the right to leave work if she has to go to a Ante-nat­al exam­in­a­tion if the exam­in­a­tions are dur­ing work­ing hours. If the employ­ee is on a fixed-con­tract which ends and is not renewed, the employ­er can not for­ce her to repay the amount she received dur­ing mater­nity leave. If there is a pro­mo­tion or pay rise dur­ing the peri­od she is on mater­nity leave, she has the same right as people who are work­ing there.

An employ­ee can­not be dis­missed for being preg­nant. A val­id reas­on has to be given for dis­missal oth­er­wise it is con­sidered to be unfair dis­missal.

Employ­er Per­spect­ive

If an employ­ee refuses to work the altern­at­ive job given by the employ­er without jus­ti­fic­a­tion the employ­er has the right to not provide remu­ner­a­tion of any kind to the employ­ee. The employ­ee must noti­fy the employ­er in writ­ing when she ceases breast­feed­ing. The advant­age to the employ­er is that with a writ­ten declar­a­tion, abuse by the employ­ee is cur­tailed.

With modi­fic­a­tions the employ­er can call the employ­ee back to work once he arranges the work place to meet the stand­ards expec­ted by the Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safety Author­ity. The employ­er must be noti­fied imme­di­ately when employ­ee is preg­nant. The employ­er has a right to request proof that the Ante-nat­al exam­in­a­tions took place. The employ­er also has a right to dis­miss employ­ee if there are val­id reas­ons to do so.

Urgent Fam­ily Leave

The aim of urgent fam­ily leave is to facil­it­ate the recon­cili­ation of par­ent­al and pro­fes­sion­al respons­ib­il­it­ies for work­ing par­ents.

Employ­ee Per­spect­ive

In case of for­ce majeure, employ­ees are entitled to time off from work. The employ­ee does not have to give advance noti­fic­a­tion in the case of imme­di­ate fam­ily cases. The employ­ee is entitled to a min­im­um of fif­teen hours pay per year to cater for urgent fam­ily reas­ons.

Employ­er Per­spect­ive

The employ­er is obliged to give urgent fam­ily leave to fam­ily rela­tions of first degree. When applic­able the employ­er should be noti­fied twenty four hours in advance that employ­ee will miss work due to fam­ily reas­ons. In case of for­ce majeur, the employ­er can state the max­im­um num­ber of hours the employ­ee is per­mit­ted to leave from work. The employ­er has the right to demand evid­ence.

Par­ent­al Leave

This law lays down the min­im­um require­ments to allow bal­an­cing of work and par­ent­al respons­ib­il­it­ies.

Employ­ee Per­spect­ive

Work­ers have the right to be gran­ted unpaid leave so that they will be able to take care of the child for a peri­od of three months until the child has reached the age of eight years. After par­ent­al leave the par­ent should return to the job he held before par­ent­al leave. If it is not pos­sible to return to work held pre­vi­ously, the employ­ee should be assigned a job that meets require­ments of ori­gin­al con­tract. The employ­ee dur­ing par­ent­al leave shall be entitled to all rights and bene­fits which may accrue to oth­er employ­ees of the same class or cat­egory. If pro­mo­tion arises, the employ­ee has a right to apply for pro­mo­tion. The employ­er can­not recall the employ­ee back to work dur­ing par­ent­al leave. It is illeg­al to dis­miss an employ­ee dur­ing par­ent­al leave without reas­on.

Employ­er Per­spect­ive

The employ­er can nego­ti­ate with employ­ee wheth­er to grant par­ent­al leave on a full-time or part-time basis, in a piece­meal way or in the form of a time cred­it sys­tem. The employ­er has the right to demand evid­ence that couple have leg­al cus­tody of child and demand the employ­ee to provide the fam­ily wel­fare cer­ti­fic­ate. The employ­ee should noti­fy the employ­er three weeks in advance spe­cify­ing the begin­ning and end of par­ent­al leave. Grant­ing of par­ent­al leave can be post­poned if there is a jus­ti­fi­able reas­on provided that employ­er noti­fies the employ­ee in writ­ing.

The employ­er should keep record of par­ent­al leave gran­ted to every employ­ee. If there is a dis­agree­ment between employ­ee and employ­er, the employ­er can take the case to the dir­ect­or of employ­ment and indus­tri­al rela­tions. The dir­ect­or will medi­ate between the two parties.


It can be con­cluded that the Employ­ment and Indus­tri­al Rela­tions Act (EIRA) along with sub­si­di­ary legis­la­tion shifts towards the employ­ee. The employ­ee has a right to a healthy work­place. If dur­ing preg­nancy the employ­ee can­not pro­ceed with her job, then either an altern­at­ive job has to be given or else if this is not pos­sible, the employ­ee should be sent home. The employ­ee also has oth­er rights as men­tioned. The employ­er also has some rights. The employ­ee has to provide med­ic­al cer­ti­fic­ates to the employ­er. This pre­vents abuse from employ­ees.