The Grenada Revolution Online

The Grenada, West Indies, 1980,
Maternity Leave Law For All Women

Issued by the Government information Service of the People's Revolutionary Government [1980]

NOTE: The Maternity Leave Law posted here is for Grenada in the West Indies, 1980

The Peoples Law No. 53 (1980) brought into effect the Maternity Leave Law, one of the most important pieces of social legislation introduced by the People's Revolutionary Government.

Under this law, Maternity leave with pay is a right for all Grenadian working women.

With the abolition of the practice of sexual exploitation of women in return for jobs and job victimisation, this law is yet another measure by the government, in keep ting with its policy of social justice for all, to improve the conditions of life for all women and children in the society.

The law which provides assistance and protection for women shows that the Government recognises the important role women, as workers, have to play in building the country and the Revolution.

Prior to the March 13 Revolution (1979), women's rights were non-existent. Unemployment among women ran at sixty nine percent; sexual exploitation by both government officials and private employers was rife; many children did not attend school because their mothers could not afford to send them; there were poor health facilities and infant morality rate was 29.5 per one thousand.

However, since the Revolution, the PRG has been making consistent efforts to reverse a social and economic system which discriminated against women and to involve them more in the building of the revolutionary process.

The passing of the Maternity Leave Law is therefore another concrete indication that the PRG recognises the special role of women in nation building and that such can best be done when she knows that she has economic security when she has to perform her very important function of motherhood.

YOUR RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE LAW

*The Law provides Maternity Leave for all working women, whether single or married and protects you from dismissal from your job because you are pregnant.

*The Law guarantees at least twelve (12) weeks maternity leave for all women, with eight (8) weeks full pay. This includes women who are employed to the government, the police and military services.

*You are entitled to Maternity Leave when you have completed eighteen (18) months of continuous service to the same employer. In the case of daily paid workers you should work with the same employer for 105 days in that period of eighteen months.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

* Before you go on leave you have to inform your employer, at least three weeks before, that you intend to go on maternity leave and that you intend to return to work after your leave is up.

*You should also give to your employer a doctor's certificate or a certificate from the midwife stating the date your baby is due.

*If your baby dies at birth or within one month of your leave, your pay will stop thirty days after the death of the baby.

*In the case of daily paid workers, one fifth of the pay earned in the twelve months, immediately prior to the beginning of maternity leave.

*If you have worked for less than eighteen months with the same employer you are still entitled to maternity leave but you will receive no pay while you are on leave.

*You are entitled to maternity leave from the same employer for no more than three pregnancies.

WHAT EMPLOYERS SHOULD DO

*All employers must keep and produce records of the date of commencement of the employee's employment, the normal pay and normal working week of the employee, the duration (with date) of periods of maternity leave given and the maternity leave pay given to the employee.

*The penalty for employers who do not give maternity leave is a maximum of fine of $1,000 or a term of imprisonment of not more than six months.

*The penalty for firing a worker because she is pregnant or for refusing to take her back after her leave is up is a fine of not more than $2,000 or a term of imprisonment of not more than one year and a further fine of not more than $50 for each day that the offence continues.

*Maternity Leave is separate and apart from your vacation leave.

*The Maternity Leave Law is legally binding and all employers are legally required to honour it.

THE MATERNITY LEAVE LAW IS FOR YOU, THE WOMEN OF OUR COUNTRY!<

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OF IF YOU HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS, PLEASE WRITE OR CALL THE WOMEN'S AFFAIRS SECTION, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, YOUTH AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS. ST. GEORGE'S.

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