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19. Should I receive salary during my maternity leave?

You are eligible for maternity leave pay if you:


  • have been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of scheduled maternity leave;
  • have given notice of pregnancy and your intention to take maternity leave to your employer after the pregnancy has been confirmed such as by the presentation of a medical certificate confirming your pregnancy to the employer; and
  • have produced a medical certificate that specifies the expected date of confinement if so required by your employer.


Maternity leave pay is equivalent to four-fifths of the employee’s normal wages. For an employee who is employed on piece rates or whose daily wages vary from day to day, the maternity leave pay should be a sum that is equivalent to the average daily wages earned on the days that she has worked during every complete wage period. The wage period should be a period of not less than 28 days and not more than 31 days immediately preceding or expiring on the commencement of her maternity leave.


Offences and Penalties


Employers who fail to grant maternity leave to pregnant employees or fail to pay maternity leave pay to eligible pregnant employees are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $50,000.