6 Common Questions About Maternity Leave
You probably have lots of questions about maternity leave. This is completely understandable, since it can be confusing and complicated. It's very important that you have all the information about it before asking for it at work.
If you’re about to have a child, we’ll answer the most common questions about maternity leave in this article. This way, you’ll be well-informed about it, and you’ll know what your rights and obligations are.
Questions about maternity leave: what you need to know
Any person with a job can request maternity or paternity leave, as this is a law. It’s not just about stopping working to take care of children. In addition, it’s also a way of making paid work compatible with raising a child.
If you’re interested learning about maternity leave, keep in mind the following questions and answers.
1. When can I request maternity leave?
The law states that you can request maternity leave for your child’s birth. In fact, you don’t have to take this leave all at once. You can ask for it to be broken up into sections.
2. How do I request it?
You must request maternity leave from your company through a written letter. We recommend you do it at least 2 weeks in advance. Check the status of your company to make sure that there are no other requirements or steps.
3. Can my company refuse my maternity leave?
No. By law, all companies must accept your request for maternity leave. In addition, if your company tries to fire you because you’re pregnant, that would be considered against the law.
Similarly, this also applies to women on maternity leave or that are breastfeeding.
4. How are my rights affected by requesting maternity leave?
This is one of the most common questions about maternity leave. Keep in mind that during the whole leave, neither the company nor the state will pay your salary. That is, you’ll be considered “unemployed.”
However, during the first year of leave, your place will be held at your company. Anyone hired to fill in your work will only be temporary. After those 12 months, you’ll still have your position in the same company.
In addition, you have the right to attend training courses, especially ones that will be useful for when you go back to work.
“The law states that you can request maternity leave for your child’s birth. In fact, you don’t have to take this leave all at once. You can ask for it to be broken up into sections.”
5. Can I request partial leave?
Yes, since the law allows mothers to work fewer hours during the first three years of their children’s lives. You can reduce your workday from one-eighth to one-half.
For example, if you work 8 hours a day, you can work between 4 and 7 hours. Of course, this means that you’ll make less than before.
6. Are maternity leave and nursing leave the same?
No, these are not the same. In the first, women stop working. However, for breastfeeding, this is for mothers with children up to 9 months old. They can miss up to one hour each day without reducing their salary.
For example, you may enter an hour later or leave an hour earlier. If your child is close, you can have two half-hour breaks during the day, in addition to lunch time.
Additionally, some companies let women build up these hours in exchange for days or half-days off. If it’s one hour per day, at the end of the week, you’ll have five hours to use. If you keep building them until you reach eight hours, you can miss one day.
These are the most common questions about maternity leave. However, if you have more doubts, consult Human Resources at your company. Additionally, you can consult the Family and Medical Leave Act. Remember, it’s your right to ask for leave to stay home and take care of your children.
You can reach an agreement with your employer to only go in part-time if you don’t want to give up your salary entirely. If you want to dedicate 100% of your time to your children, you have that right by law to do so.