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Bahamas - Maternity protection - 2011


LAST UPDATE

6 October 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

National Insurance Act, No. 21, dated 12 December 1972. Consolidated version incorporating The National Insurance (Amendment) Act, No. 36, 1998, Official Gazette, 1972-12-28, Supplement

Name of Act

Employment Act 2001, No. 73 of 2000, Official Gazette, 2001-12-31, No. 27, pp. 1-45
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Name of Act

National Insurance and Assistance Regulations, No. 53, dated 5 October 1984, as amended by the National Insurance (Benefit and Assistance) (Amendment) Regulations, 2007, dated 4 April 2007

Name of Act

Health and Safety at Work Act, 2001, No. 2 of 2002, Official Gazette, 2002-01-21, No. 2, pp. 1-20

Other source used

MATERNITY LEAVE


Scope

Any female employed for remuneration (including wages, benefits in kind and allowances) under a contract of employment (a contract of service or apprenticeship).
Employment Act §2(1), 16 and 17

Qualifying conditions

Employment for at least 12 months by the same employer and delivery of a certificate issued by a medical practitioner or midwife setting forth the expected or actual date of confinement. Where an employee by reason of geographical or other circumstances beyond her control is unable to produce such certificates, an employer shall accept such other evidence as is produced by her in reasonable proof of her entitlement to maternity leave.
Employment Act §17

Duration


General total duration

12 weeks, of which at least 1 week before and 8 weeks after confinement shall be granted.
Employment Act §18(1)-(3)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 12 weeks, of which at least 1 weeks before and 8 weeks after confinement shall be granted.
  • 2004: Thirteen weeks
  • 1998: Eight weeks
  • 1994: Eight weeks

Extension

Where an employee has been granted maternity leave and the date of confinement is a later date than the expected date, her maternity leave shall be extended to include the period that elapsed between those dates. Where a confinement takes place without an employee having been granted maternity leave; or the period of maternity leave before her confinement amounts to less than four weeks, the period of leave after confinement shall, if the employee so desires, be extended so that the total period of leave does not amount to less than twelve weeks.
Employment Act §18(3)

Leave in case of illness or complications

An employee who, after confinement, suffers any illness arising out of confinement shall be granted, in addition to the normal duration of maternity leave, such additional leave not exceeding six weeks as a medical practitioner recommends. (This leave is unpaid from the part of the employer but paid from the part of the National Insurance Board.)
Employment Act §19
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §36(3)

RELATED TYPES OF LEAVE


Paternity leave


Scope

An employee who has been employed for at least six months is entitled to family leave without pay for a period not exceeding one week per annum following the birth of a child.
Employment Act §20

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for family leave, an employee must have been employed for at least six months and is required to provide to the satisfaction of the employer evidence of birth.
Employment Act §20

Length

The length of family leave is one week per annum.
Employment Act §20

CASH BENEFITS


Maternity leave benefits


Scope

Maternity benefit (weekly payment) and maternity grant (one-time payment) from the National Insurance Board shall be awarded in the case of the pregnancy and confinement of a woman who is an insured person. Payment from the employer while on maternity leave shall be granted to any female employed for remuneration (including wages, benefits in kind and allowances) under a contract of employment (a contract of service or apprenticeship).
Employment Act §17(1) and (3)
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §34

Qualifying conditions

In Bahamas, one part of the cash benefits when on maternity leave is paid from the National Insurance Board (NIB), and one part is paid by the employer. Maternity benefit from the NIB shall be payable only if (a) the woman had been engaged in an occupation as an employed or self-employed person and had paid contributions for at least fifty contribution weeks; and has paid and (b) been credited with at least twenty-six contributions in the forty weeks immediately preceding the week on which benefit is due to commence, or has paid and been credited with at least twenty-six contributions in the immediately preceding contribution year. A woman on maternity leave may not receive payment from her employer more than once in every three years.
Employment Act §17(3)
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §35(1)

Duration

National Insurance Board (NIB): thirteen weeks starting from the date which is six weeks before the expected date of confinement, or from the day following the day the woman stops remunerative work in respect of her confinement, whichever is later. 12 weeks payment by the employer.
Employment Act §17(1) and (3)
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §35(2), 36(1)-(4) and 37(1)
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Amount

100 per cent.
National Insurance Board (NIB): 66,6 % of the average weekly of the average weekly insurable wage or income of the insured person during the forty weeks or the contribution year immediately preceding the date from which benefit is due to commence, whichever is the more favourable to the insured person.
In addition to the payment from the NIB, an employee who is on maternity leave receives a minimum sum equivalent to thirty-three and one-third per cent of that portion of her wages that does not exceed the National Insurance ceiling on insurable wage.

Maternity grant is one-time payment of$430 (as of July 2010) made to a woman whose pregnancy results in the birth of a live infant.
Employment Act §17(1) and (3)
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §35(2), 36(1)-(4) and 37(1)
The National Insurance Board of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas website
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Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 100 per cent. National Insurance Board (NIB): 66,6 % of the average weekly of the average weekly insurable wage or income of the insured person during the forty weeks or the contribution year immediately preceding the date from which benefit is due to commence, whichever is the more favourable to the insured person. In addition to the payment from the NIB, an employee who is on maternity leave receives a minimum sum equivalent to thirty-three and one-third per cent of that portion of her wages that does not exceed the National Insurance ceiling on insurable wage.
  • 2004: Sixty percent
  • 1998: One hundred percent
  • 1994: One hundred percent

Financing of benefits

The National Insurance Board (2/3); the employer (1/3). The source of funds for the NIB are contributions made by the insured persons and by employers. Any temporary insufficiency in the Fund to meet the liabilities under the National Insurance Act shall be met from moneys provided by the Pariament.
Employment Act §17(1)
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §37(1)
National Insurance Act §14(1) and 42(1)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: The National Insurance Board (2/3); the employer (1/3). The source of funds for the NIB are contributions made by the insured persons and by employers. Any temporary insufficiency in the Fund to meet the liabilities under the National Insurance Act shall be met from moneys provided by the Pariament.
  • 2004: Social security & employer
  • 1998: Sixty percent social security, forty percent employer
  • 1994: Sixty percent social security, forty percent employer

Parental leave benefits


Amount

Where an employee has been granted maternity leave and the employee dies during such leave, the guardian of the child shall be entitled to any unpaid maternity benefits due to the mother from her employer and the National Insurance Board.
Employment Act §18(4)

HEALTH PROTECTION


Dangerous or unhealthy work


General

It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.
Health and Safety at Work Act:§4(1)

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY


Anti-discrimination measures

No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment on the basis of (among other things) sex and marital status by (a) refusing to offer employment to an applicant for employment or not affording the employee access to opportunities for promotion, training or other benefits, or by dismissing or subjecting the employee to other detriment solely because of his or her sex or marital status (among other things); (b) paying the employee at a rate of pay less than the rate of pay of another employee, for substantially the same kind of work or for work of equal value performed in the same establishment, the performance of which requires substantially the same skill, effort and responsibility and which is performed under similar working conditions except where such payment is made pursuant to seniority, merit, earnings by quantity or quality of production or a differential based on any factor other than sex and marital status (among others).
National Insurance and Assistance Regulations §6

Protection from discriminatory dismissal

No employer shall: (a) dismiss or give notice of dismissal to a female employee at any time between the date of her delivery to the employer of a medical certificate setting forth the expected or actual date of confinement and the date of the expiration of her maternity leave or additional leave granted due to illness arising out of confinement; (b) give notice of dismissal to an employee so that it would expire during her maternity leave or additional leave granted due to illness arising out of confinement or dismiss her during such leave; (c ) dismiss an employee or require an employee to resign on the ground that she is pregnant; or (d) require an employee to resign during any of the times referred to in (a) or (b). Exceptions exist.
Employment Act §17(1), 19, 21(1)-(2), 23 and 24
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Burden of proof

An employee shall be treated as unfairly dismissed if the reason or principal reason for her dismissal is that she is pregnant or is for any reason connected with her pregnancy. It is presumed that the dismissal was on the grounds of pregnancy, maternity leave or leave granted due to illness arising out of confinement, unless the contrary is shown.
Employment Act §21 and 38

Guaranteed right to return to work

Where a female employee has been granted maternity leave she is, on her resumption of work after such leave, entitled to her seniority rights and reinstatement in her former position or equivalent position. In addition, she shall not by reason only of the fact that she went on maternity leave, be paid a smaller remuneration than she received before she went on maternity leave. Any employer who contravenes or fails to comply with these provisions shall be liable to a fine of five thousand dollars. An employer may in addition to the fine imposed on him be liable to pay to the female employee any payment due to such employee under the Employment Act.
Employment Act §22, 23 and 24

Results generated on: 17th April 2014 at 08:51:15.
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