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Maternity leave extension bill submitted to parliament

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A bill which would extend the time allotted for maternity leave for first-time mothers from 18 weeks to 22 was submitted to parliament by the government on Wednesday.

The bill provides for maternity leave totalling 22 weeks for all new first-time mothers, including surrogate mothers, and for an increase in maternity leave for adopting mothers from 16 weeks to 20 weeks.

In addition, new mothers will be entitled to eight weeks of supplementary maternity leave should their child be hospitalised after birth, up from the previously allotted six weeks.

The move will bring the allotted maternity leave for people’s first child to the same amount of time as that allotted for their second, while the maternity leave allotted for their third and subsequent children remains at 26 weeks.

The government estimates that approximately 5,000 working first-time mothers per year will benefit from the change, while those who have already commenced their maternity leave when the bill is passed will receive an extra four weeks of leave added on to the end of their allotted time.

Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou said the extension of maternity leave “will make a significant contribution to strengthening the balance between work and family life, and allow new working mothers to stay longer with their children in the first few months of their lives”.

 

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