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Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997)

Sectoral Determinations

Sectoral Determination 12 : Forestry Sector, South Africa

Part E : Leave

27. Maternity leave


(1) A forestry worker is entitled to at least four consecutive month’s maternity leave.


(2) A forestry worker may commence maternity leave—
(a) At any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth, unless otherwise agreed; or
(b) On a date from which a medical practitioner or a midwife certifies that it is necessary for the forestry worker’s health or that of her unborn child.


(3) A forestry worker may not work for six weeks after the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that she is fit to do so.


(4) A forestry worker who has a miscarriage during the third trimester of pregnancy or bears a stillborn child is entitled to maternity leave for six weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth, whether or not the forestry worker had commenced maternity leave at the time of the miscarriage or stillbirth.


(5) A forestry worker must notify an employer in writing, unless she is unable to do so, of the date on which the forestry worker intends to—
(a) Commence maternity leave; and
(b) return to work after maternity leave.


(6) Notification in terms of sub-clause (5) must be given—
(a) at least four weeks before the forestry worker intends to commence maternity leave;
(b) if it is not reasonably practicable to do so, as soon as is reasonably practicable.


(7) No employer may require or permit a pregnant forestry worker or a forestry worker who is nursing her child to perform work that is hazardous to her health or the health of her child, including operating dangerous machinery or handling and/or using spray chemicals.


(8) During a forestry worker’s pregnancy, and for a period of six months after the birth of her child, her employer must offer her suitable, alternative employment on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than her ordinary terms and conditions of employment, if—
(a) the forestry worker is required to perform night work, as defined in clause 15 or her work poses a danger to her health or safety or that of her child; and
(b) it is practicable for the employer to do so.