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Lesotho - Maternity protection - 2011


LAST UPDATE

01 December 2011

Data quantity

LOW

SOURCES


Name of Act

Labour Code, Order No. 24 of 1992 (Lesotho Government Gazette, Vol. 37, No. 118, Extraordinary, 12 November 1992, pp. 1195-1441), as amended to Labour Code (Amendment) Act 2006.

Other source used

Other source used

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

MATERNITY LEAVE


Scope

Maternity protection under the Labour Code covers employed women in the public and private sectors, including apprentices, but excluding certain types of public servants.
The Labour Code shall not apply to:
a) Any person(other than a person employed in a civil capacity) who is a member of the Royal Defense Force; the Royal Lesotho Mounted-Police; or any other disciplined force within the meaning of Chapter II of the Lesotho Independence Order of 1966;
b) Such category or class of public officer, such public authority or employee thereof as the Minister may by order specify and to the extent therein specified.
Labour Code §2

Qualifying conditions

A pregnant female employee shall give notice of her anticipated confinement by delivering to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer or a registered nurse or midwife certifying that the employee’s confinement will probably take place within six weeks from the date of that certificate.

Within 21 days immediately after her confinement, a female employee shall deliver to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer or a registered nurse and midwife certifying the date of confinement.
Labour Code §133.1,133.3

Duration


Compulsory leave

Six weeks after confinement
Labour Code §133(2)

General total duration

Six weeks before and six weeks after confinement upon production of a medical certificate
Labour Code §133(1) and (2)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2004: Twelve weeks
  • 1998: Twelve weeks
  • 1994: Twelve weeks

Extension

If confinement occurs after the anticipated date, prenatal leave is extended accordingly with no consequent reduction in postnatal leave.
Labour Code §133(5)

Leave in case of illness or complications

If a female employee delivers to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer or a registered nurse or midwife certifying his or her opinion that the employee is suffering from an illness arising out of her confinement and is consequently unfit to return to work, the employer shall not permit or require her to return to work until the expiry of eight weeks immediately after her confinement.
Labour Code §133(4)

RELATED TYPES OF LEAVE


Parental leave

Not provided.
Labour Code

Paternity leave

Not provided.
Labour Code

Adoption leave

Not provided.
Labour Code

RIGHT TO PART-TIME WORK


General provisions

Neither pregnant workers nor breastfeeding mothers are entitled to apply for part-time working hours.
Labour Code

CASH BENEFITS


Maternity leave benefits

Maternity leave is unpaid.
"Nothing in this law shall be deemed to impose any liability on an employer to pay wages to a female employee in respect of the period of her absence from work but nothing shall prevent an employer from making any payment on account of wages in respect of such period if the employer so wishes or the terms of the contract otherwise require".
Labour Code §134

Scope

There is no legal obligation for employers to pay wages during maternity leave, although the contract of employment may provide for paid maternity leave
Labour Code §134

Parental leave benefits

Not provided.
Labour Code

Paternity leave benefits

Not provided.
Labour Code

Adoption leave benefits

Not provided.
Labour Code

MEDICAL BENEFITS


Pre-natal, childbirth and post-natal care

It was impossible to have access to the norm that regulates health-care in Lesotho.
According to the web-site of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Lesotho Health System is divided in different levels:
A village network over 5000 volunteer community health workers.
Clinics/health centers, where teams serve from 6000 to 10000 people
Health Service Areas, with teams operating from referral hospitals.

Apart from the village health workers, various other categories of community based health workers include traditional birth attendants, distribution agents and water minders. Health centers or local clinics are responsible for immunization of children, ante and post-natal services and basic curative services.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

Financing of benefits

Information regarding the qualifying conditions to have access to these health-care services is not provided in the website. Furthermore, there is not any information available regarding the funding of these health-care services.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

BREASTFEEDING


Right to nursing breaks or daily reduction of hours of work

Up to one hour a day paid breaks for six months immediately after the woman’s return to work after maternity leave.
Labour Code §137(1)

Remuneration of nursing breaks

Nursing breaks are countered as working hours.
Labour Code §137(1)

Transfer to another post

Not provided.
Labour Code

Nursing facilities

Not mentioned.
Labour Code

HEALTH PROTECTION


Arrangement of working time


Night work

Pregnant workers may not be required to work at night for a period of at least three months before the expected date of confinement and at least three months after childbirth. Alternative work schedules must be made available to them. This may not have the effect of reducing the protection and benefits connected with maternity leave.
Labour Code §130(1)(b)

Overtime

It is not prohibited neither for pregnant workers nor breastfeeding mothers.
Labour Code

Work on rest days

It is not prohibited neither for pregnant workers nor breastfeeding mothers.
Labour Code

Time off for medical examinations

Not provided.
Labour Code

Leave in case of sickness of the child

Not provided.
Labour Code

Dangerous or unhealthy work


General

There are not special legal provisions to protect neither pregnant workers nor breastfeeding mother from risks at working places. It has been established a general duty in the employer’s head to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all their workers.
Labour Code §97

Particular risks

No woman shall be employed on underground work in any mine except with the written approval of the Labour Commissioner in such circumstances as the Minister may by regulation prescribe in accordance with the Underground work(women)Convention, 1935(No.45),of the International Labour Organisation, as follows:
a. women holding managerial positions who do not perform manual work;
b. women employed in health and welfare service;
c. women who, in the course of their studies, spend a period of training in the underground parts of a mine; and
d. any other women who may occasionally have to enter the underground part of a mine for the purpose of a non-manual occupation.

Any person who employs a woman in contravention of the provisions of subsection(1) shall be guilty of an offence.
Labour Code §132

» Arduous work (manual lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling of loads)

(1) No employer shall require an employee to lift, carry or move any load so heavy or of such characteristics as to be likely to cause bodily injury.

(2) Every employer shall provide sufficient training in the safe techniques or methods of manual lifting and handling to any employee who is required in the normal course of his or her work regularly to lift, carry or move loads exceeding 50 kilograms for a male employee and 25 kilograms for a female employee.
Labour Code §108

» Work involving exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents

There are not special legal provisions to protect pregnant workers and/or breastfeeding mothers from these risks.

It has been established that every employee who may during the course of his or her work inhale, ingest or otherwise absorb any substance specified in the Sixth Schedule to the Code shall be medically examined free of charge at intervals of not more than six months or at such intervals as the Labour Commissioner may direct in writing, and a register shall be kept at each place of work in which shall be entered the name, address, date of birth, date of employment, date and result of examination of every person examined in pursuance of the previous paragraph as well as any action taken.

Every employee who may during the course of his or her work handle or use any toxic substance shall be fully instructed as to the risks associated with the toxic substance and the necessary precautionary measures to be observed for protection against such risks.

Where in any room any poisonous substance which may contaminate food or drink is stored, handled or used, no employee shall be permitted to partake of food or drink in that room, and no food or drink shall be kept in or conveyed through that room at any time.

(1) In every place of work in which, in connection with any process carried on, there is given off dust, fume or other impurity of such a character and to such extent as to be likely to be injurious or seriously offensive to the employees, or any substantial quantity of dust of any kind, all reasonably practicable measures shall be taken to protect such persons against inhalation or ingestion of the dust, fume or other impurity and to prevent its accumulating in any workroom, and in particular where the nature of the process makes it practicable, exhaust appliances and other devices shall be provided and maintained, as near as possible to the point of origin of the dust, fume or other impurity, so as to prevent its entering the air of any workroom.

(2) The Minister may by regulations specify the maximum permissible limits of exposure to substance hazardous to health which may be present in the atmosphere of any place of work.
Ministry of Labour. §§105,106

» Working requiring special equilibrium

There are not legal provisions to protect pregnant workers and/or breastfeeding mothers from these risks.
Labour Code

» Work involving physical strain (prolonged periods of sitting, standing, exposure to extreme temperatures, vibration)

There are not legal provisions to protect pregnant workers and/or breastfeeding mothers from these risks.

It has been stipulated where in any place of work persons are employed in any process involving exposure to noise or vibration which may constitute a danger to their health, effective means shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be provided for the reduction of such noise or vibration within the place of work, as specified in regulations.
Labour Code §107.

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY


Anti-discrimination measures

(1) The application by any person of any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, colour, sex, marital status, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation, is incompatible with the provisions of the Code.

(2) Sexual harassment, as defined in Section 200 of the Code, shall be prohibited.

(3) Men and women shall receive equal remuneration for work of equal value.

(4) Any distinction, exclusion or preference in respect of a particular job based on the narrowly defined inherent requirements thereof shall not be deemed an act of unlawful discrimination.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the terms "employment" and "occupation" include access to vocational and other occupationally related training, access to employment and to particular occupations, retention of employment and any terms or conditions of employment.
Labour Code §5

Prohibition of pregnancy testing

Not prohibited.
Labour Code

Protection from discriminatory dismissal

(1) Any dismissal of any employee that takes effect during her statutory maternity leave shall automatically be an unfair dismissal.

(2) Where a female employee is absent from work in pursuance of subsection (2) or (4) of section 133, or remains absent from work for a longer period as a result of an illness which a medical officer or a registered nurse or midwife has certified in writing to arise in his or her opinion out of the employee’s pregnancy or confinement and to render her unfit to return to work, no employer shall, during the period of her absence from work in pursuance of subsection (2) or (4) of section 133, give notice to dismiss her or terminate her contract of employment.

(3) Any employer who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of four hundred maloti.
Labour Code §136

Burden of proof

(1) Any dismissal of any employee that takes effect during her statutory maternity leave shall automatically be an unfair dismissal.
Labour Code §136.1

Guaranteed right to return to work

Any dismissal of an employee that takes effect during her statutory maternity leave is automatically considered as unfair dismissal. An employer may not give notice of dismissal or terminate a contract of employment during the statutory maternity leave or during any extension due to certified illness resulting from the worker’s pregnancy or confinement rendering her unfit to work. Any employer who acts in contravention of the above is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.
Labour Code §136

Results generated on: 30th September 2014 at 20:12:43.
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