We have had a number of queries in over the last few weeks regarding maternity leave. There are a number of points to remember if an employee confirms they are pregnant.
- Employers are required to complete a pregnancy risk assessment with the employee during each trimester. This may be subject to when the employee informs the employer of the pregnancy. This should be completed with the employee signed off by both parties and the employee given a copy and file a copy on employee's personnel file.
- An employee is entitled to paid time off to attend hospital and related pregnancy appointments.
- An employee should produce either an appointment card and/or letter confirming appointments to the employer.
- The employer is required to allow the employee sufficient time to leave work and attend the appointment.
- Depending on the time of the appointment the employee should attend work prior to and return to work following the appointment.
- The employer should ensure that they complete the relevant section of the Maternity Benefit form for the employee. A copy of this section should be placed on the employee's personnel file.
- The employee is required to confirm to the employer the due date of the baby so the employer can confirm the last working day for the employee. The employee is entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave. At least 2 weeks must be taken before the baby is due.
- An employee is also entitled to a further 16 weeks [unpaid] after the 26 weeks statutory maternity leave which is paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
- An employee accrues both annual leave and Public Holidays during their maternity leave both the 26 weeks statutory payment period and the additional 16 weeks [statutory unpaid] period.
- If an employee advises the employer that they intend to take the additional [statutory unpaid] maternity leave of 16 weeks or a lesser period this leave should follow on directly after the 26 weeks statutory paid maternity leave.
- Before the employee goes on maternity leave arrange to check in with them and to keep the briefed on any changes and developments in the workplace. This can be done a couple of times during their leave. It can be an email, newsletter or catch up for a coffee.
- Keeping the line of communication open allows the employee to know what's happening in work in their absence and will assist in their return to work.
Contact us at (+353) 1-623-5908 if you need any further information on maternity leave