What the law says about maternity leave, UIF and going back to work

Falling pregnant forces you to think through a lot of things...birthing options, parenting styles, day care choices, to name a few. Some of the most important things for you to think about is your maternity leave, and also, how you are going to cope when you go back to work after the baby is born. There are very strict laws in this country that stipulate how much maternity leave can be taken, when it can be taken, payment regarding your time off and making the workplace ‘new-mom’ friendly.

If you work more than 24 hours in a month, the basic conditions of the employment act apply to you. These conditions entitle you, as a pregnant woman, to a total of four months of consecutive maternity leave. This leave can be taken from a month before your expected due date and for three months after your baby is born. However, if for any medical reasons your doctor suggests you take off work earlier than one month before, you can do so.