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

Sectoral Determinations

Sectoral Determination 7 : Domestic Worker Sector, South Africa

Part E : Leave

22. Maternity leave


(1) A domestic worker is entitled to at least four consecutive months' maternity leave.


(2) A domestic 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 domestic worker's health or that of her unborn child.


(3) A domestic 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 domestic 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 domestic worker had commenced maternity leave at the time of the miscarriage or stillbirth.


(5) A domestic worker must notify an employer in writing, unless the domestic worker is unable to do so, of the date on which the domestic worker intends to—
(a) commence maternity leave; and 'In terms of section 187(1)(e) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, the dismissal of an employee on account of her pregnancy, intended pregnancy, or any reason related to her pregnancy, is automatically unfair. The definition of dismissal in section 186 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, includes the refusal to allow an employee to resume work after she has taken maternity leave in terms of any law, collective agreement or her contract. With effect from 1 April 2003, domestic workers will be covered by the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 and will be entitled to claim maternity benefits in terms of that Act.
(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 domestic 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 domestic worker or a domestic worker who is nursing her child to perform work that is hazardous to her health or the health of her child.