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Panama - Maternity protection - 2011


SOURCES


Name of Act

Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama, of 1972 as amended up to Act 2 of 1994 (Gaceta Oficial No. 22796, of 2 June 1995).

Name of Act

Ministerial Decree N° 252 promulgating the Labour Code, of 30 December 1971 (Gaceta Oficial N° 17040 Extraordinary, 18 February 1972), as amended up to Act n°14 of 28 January 2008 (Gaceta Oficial, 2008-01-29, N° 25968)

Name of Act

Act N°51 on Social Security Fund, (Ley 51 que reforma la Ley Orgánica de la Caja de Seguro Social, Gaceta Oficial No.25453, 28 December 2005) of 27 December 2005

Name of Act

Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

Name of Act

Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones)

Name of Act

Executive Decree No. 53 of June 25 of 2002 that regulates the Law No.4 of 29 January of 1999, which provides "equality of opportunities for women".

Other source used

Law Project on Paid Paternity Leave.

MATERNITY LEAVE


Scope

The maternity protection established by the Labour Code shall apply to all workers who work for enterprises in the national territory, with the exception of public employers and people working in agricultural or part-agricultural, part-industrial cooperatives, who shall be subject to the special regulations made to cover them.
Labour Code §2, 3

Qualifying conditions

The Labor Code establishes that in order to determine the starting date of the maternity leave, the female employee shall present to the employer a medical certificate with the probable date of confinement.
Labour Code §107

Duration


Compulsory leave

Six weeks before confinement.
Labour Code §107
Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama §68

General total duration

14 weeks (six weeks before and eight weeks after confinement)
Labour Code §107
Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama §68
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 14 weeks (six weeks before and eight weeks after confinement)
  • 2004: Fourteen weeks
  • 1998: Fourteen weeks
  • 1994: Fourteen weeks

Extension

If the actual confinement occurs at a later date than the presumed one, the expectant mother shall be entitled to eight weeks of post-natal paid maternity leave to run from the latter date. The aggregate period shall in no case be less than fourteen weeks. Pursuant to Art. 107(4) of the Labour Code, the maternity leave duration may be extended by Decree for working activities whose nature requires it.
Labour Code §107

Leave in case of illness or complications

If an illness arises as consequence of pregnancy or confinement, female employee is entitled to such extended maternity leave as may be stipulated in a medical certificate. In the case of a miscarriage, still-birth or other pathological or abnormal confinement, the paid maternity leave shall be fixed as necessitated by the employee’s state of health, on the basis of the medical certificate.
Labour Code §110,112

RELATED TYPES OF LEAVE


Parental leave

Not provided.
Labour Code

Paternity leave

Is not provided.
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Adoption leave

Adopting mothers are entitled to adoption leave.

Adopting fathers may take two weeks off that will be discounted from their annual leave as accorded with the employer.
Nevertheless, collective agreements may establish wider rights.
§36

Scope

The law talks about the adopting mother and adopting father without further mentioning whether these adopting parents shall be employees in the private or public sector. Therefore, it could be deduced that all adopting mothers in private and public sectors are entitled to adoption leave and all fathers in private and public sector will be allowed to take off 2 weeks off from their annual holidays based on the adoption of a child.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36

Qualifying conditions

The law does not establish any qualifying condition for adoptive parents in order to be entitled to adoption leave.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36

Length

Adopting mother is entitled to four weeks of adoption leave since the date of the resolution that gives her the pre-adoptive foster-care.
Adopting father may opt to take two weeks out of his annual leave.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36

RIGHT TO PART-TIME WORK

It is not specially provided the right to apply for part-time working hours neither for pregnant workers nor for breastfeeding mothers. Nonetheless, the working conditions of the contract may be modified by mutual agreement between employer and employee.
Labour Code

CASH BENEFITS


Maternity leave benefits


Scope

All women working in the public or private sectors.
Self-employed may be covered on a voluntary basis.
Foreign workers in the Republic of Panama.

Domestic workers, casual workers and seasonal workers shall be covered by special regulations. It was not possible to determine if this special regulation has been already enacted because in the website of the Social Security Fund is not enlisted among the legislative frameworks of the fund.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §77,79

Qualifying conditions

Nine monthly contributions within the previous 12 months immediately preceding the seventh month of pregnancy.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146

Duration

14 weeks(6 weeks before and 8 weeks after confinement)
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146

Amount

The benefit is equal to 100% of the insured average weekly earnings in the last 9 months, for the duration of normal maternity leave (14 weeks) and during maternity leave extended for medical reasons. To be granted maternity benefits, women worker may not perform any paid activity during the maternity leave.
Labour Code §110
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: The benefit is equal to 100% of the insured average weekly earnings in the last 9 months, for the duration of normal maternity leave (14 weeks) and during maternity leave extended for medical reasons. To be granted maternity benefits, women worker may not perform any paid activity during the maternity leave.
  • 2004: One hundred percent
  • 1998: One hundred percent
  • 1994: One hundred percent

Financing of benefits

Social Security Fund. The diference between what Social Security Fund pays and the worker’s is entited to receive during this period, is paid by the employer. In cases where there is no liability on the part of the Social Security Fund to pay a maternity allowance, the obligation shall be incumbent entirely on the employer.
Labour Code §107
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §132
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: Social Security Fund. The diference between what Social Security Fund pays and the worker's is entited to receive during this period, is payed by the employer. In cases where there is no liability on the part of the Social Security Fund to pay a maternity allowance, the obligation shall be incumbent entirely on the employer.
  • 2004: Social security
  • 1998: Social security
  • 1994: Mixed

Parental leave benefits

Not provided.
Labour Code

Paternity leave benefits

Not provided.
Labour Code
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Adoption leave benefits

All women working in the public or private sectors.
Self-employed may be covered on a voluntary basis.
Foreign workers in the Republic of Panama.

Domestic workers, casual workers and seasonal workers shall be covered by special regulations. It was not possible to determine if this special regulation has been already enacted because in the website of the Social Security Fund is not listed among its legal frameworks.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §77,79
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36,37

Scope

The norm that have established the paid leave for adopting mothers says in its §36 "the adopting mother will be entitled to paid adoption leave for 4 weeks". There are not exclusions.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36

Qualifying conditions

Nine monthly paid contributions within the twelve months immediately preceding the seventh month of pregnancy.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §37
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146

Duration

four weeks.
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36,37
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146

Amount

The benefit is equal to 100% of the insured average weekly earnings in the last 9 months.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §146
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36,37

Financing of benefits

Social Security Fund.
Employer’s, employees and self-employed(voluntarily affiliated) paid contributions and the State also contributes to the financing of sickness and maternity branches.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §130,146
Act 61 of August 12 of 2008 establishing the General Law of Adoptions of the Republic of Panama.
(Ley 61 de 12 de agosto de 2008 que dicta la Ley General de Adopciones de la Republica de Panama y otras disposiciones) §36,37

MEDICAL BENEFITS


Pre-natal, childbirth and post-natal care

Women workers, insured’s wife or cohabiting partner, are entitled to prenatal and obstetric assistance during pregnancy, confinement and the postnatal period, independent of any benefits to which they may be entitled due to sickness. Insured’s pregnant children under eighteen may benefit from additional social and psychological assistance.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §139,140

Financing of benefits

Social Security Fund.
Sickness and maternity branches receive employer, employees and self-employed(voluntarily affiliated) contributions and the state also allocates 10% of the revenues from concession of optical fiber to finance theses branches of social security.
Act N°51 on Social Security Fund §139,140

BREASTFEEDING


Right to nursing breaks or daily reduction of hours of work

Every nursing mother shall be entitled to a nursing break of fifteen minutes every three hours or half-an-hour’s nursing break twice during the working day. Such nursing breaks shall be counted as hours worked.
Labour Code §114

Remuneration of nursing breaks

Nursing breaks are counted and remunerated as hours worked
Labour Code §114

Transfer to another post

Transfer to another post is not provided neither in the Labour Code not in the Regulation to Prevent professional risks and safety and health at work."

It was only found a legal provision in the Executive Decree No. 2 of 15 February of 2008 that regulates safety, health and hygiene at building industry, stipulates in its art. 379 that pregnant workers are entitled to the right to be transferred to another job that does not implied the use or exposition to materials or chemical substances dangerous to health of the fetus or the child during breastfeeding period. This right will be subject to the availability of other jobs and the female worker will enjoy the right to return to her previous job when it does not longer represent a danger.
Labour Code

Nursing facilities

The employer shall have adequate seating facilities available for nursing mothers to feed their babies. Every employer of more than twenty female employees in the same workplace shall be obliged to provide a nursery where babies can be fed by their mothers without hazard.
Labour Code §114

HEALTH PROTECTION


Arrangement of working time


Night work

If an expectant mother works in rotation at different times, the employer shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure that she is not required to perform night work or observe hours which overlap between day and night.
Labour Code §116

Overtime

It is unlawful for an expectant mother to do overtime work.
Labour Code §116

Work on rest days

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

Time off for medical examinations

Not expressly provided.
Labour Code

Leave in case of sickness of the child

Not provided.
Labour Code

Dangerous or unhealthy work


General

It is forbidden the engagement of minors and women in unhealthy works.
The law will regulate the works prohibited for pregnant women.
Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama §70 inc. 2.

Risk assessment


» Assessment of workplace risks

The employer shall have the responsibility for making the necessary arrangements for ensuring that an expectant mother is not required to perform unsuitable tasks of work which might adversely affect her condition.
Labour Code §116

» Adaptation of conditions of work

Not specially provided for the protection of health of pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers. The Labour Code and the Regulation to prevent professional risks, stipulate general duties in the employer’s head regarding the adoption of all necessary measures to guarantee safety and health of workers in working places.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

» Transfer to another post

Transfer to another post is not provided neither in the Labour Code nor in the Regulation to Prevent professional risks and safety and health at work."

It was only found a legal provision in the Executive Decree No. 2 of 15 February of 2008 that regulates safety, health and hygiene at building industry, stipulates in its art. 379 that pregnant workers are entitled to the right to be transferred to another job that does not implied the use or exposition to materials or chemical substances dangerous to health of the fetus or the child during breastfeeding period. This right will be subject to the availability of other jobs and the female worker will enjoy the right to return to her previous job when it does not longer represent a danger.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

» Paid/unpaid leave

Not provided.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

» Right to return

The right to return is not provided neither in the Labour Code not in the Regulation to Prevent professional risks and safety and health at work."

It was only found a legal provision in the Executive Decree No. 2 of 15 February of 2008 that regulates safety, health and hygiene at building industry, stipulates in its art. 379 that pregnant workers are entitled to the right to be transferred to another job that does not implied the use or exposition to materials or chemical substances dangerous to health of the fetus or the child during breastfeeding period. This right will be subject to the availability of other jobs and the female worker will enjoy the right to return to her previous job when it does not longer represent a danger.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

Particular risks


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

Not mentioned.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

» Work involving exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents

It is not specially regulated nor prohibited in the Labour Code in order to protect pregnant workers and/or breastfeeding mothers.

The Regulation to prevent professional risks has stipulated several general duties in the employer’s head regarding work involving exposure to biological, chemical or physical agents and in favor of all workers. Such duties are for instance:
To work within the maximum levels regarding noise, vibration, radiations, chemical substances, biological agents, temperature.
To clean continuously working places.
To collect wastes.
To adopt all necessary measures to prevent professional risks.

In the Executive Decree No. 2 of 15 February of 2008 that regulates safety, health and hygiene at building industry, it has been stipulated in its §379 that pregnant workers are entitled to the right to be transferred to another job that does not implied the use or exposition to materials or chemical substances dangerous to health of the fetus or the child during breastfeeding period. This right will be subject to the availability of other jobs and the female worker will enjoy the right to return to her previous job when it does not longer represent a danger.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH). §10-22

» Working requiring special equilibrium

Not mentioned.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

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

Not mentioned.
Labour Code
Resolution No.41,039-2009-J.D of the Board of the Fund of Social Security, establishing the Regulation to prevent Professional risks(OSH).

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY


Anti-discrimination measures

There is only stipulated in this regard that work performed in identical conditions, shall be remunerated in identical terms without taking into consideration sex, nationality, race, age, political ideas and/or religious beliefs.
Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama §67

Prohibition of pregnancy testing

It is considered as discriminatory against the women at work, the requirement by employers in both private and public sectors to: pregnancy tests, photographs, the establishment of limits regarding age, civil status and the application of racist or sexist criteria for workers wages, and the sexual and moral harassment.
Executive Decree No. 53 of June 25 of 2002 that regulates the Law No.4 of 29 January of 1999, which provides "equality of opportunities for women". §38

Protection from discriminatory dismissal

The Constitution provides that female workers cannot be dismissed during a year after their return to work from their maternity leave. Unless there is a justified reason and the employer receives authorization to do dismissed from a Labour Judge.

According to the Labour Code, it is unlawful to dismiss an expectant mother from her employment except for justified reasons and with the prior authorization of the judicial authorities.

During maternity leave, the employer shall not communicate to female
employee any measure, sanction and/or action foreseen in the Labour Code. To these effects, during maternity leave the expiration and prescription terms stipulated in favor of the employer are suspended.
Labour Code §106,107
Political Constitution of the Republic of Panama §72

Burden of proof

If the employer wants to dismiss a pregnant worker based on a justified reason not related to her pregnancy, the employer shall ask for previous authorization from a labour judge. The employer has the burden of proof.

If the employer dismisses a pregnant worker without obtaining a previous authorization from the labour judge, the pregnant employee is entitle to the reinstatement and severance.
Labour Code §106.

Guaranteed right to return to work

There is not provided an express right for women on maternity leave to return to the same work they were performing before the starting date of their maternity leave.
Only if a pregnant worker is dismissed without previous authorization of a Labour Judge, she is entitled to return to her previous job by presenting to the employer or the labour inspector a certificate of pregnancy or if the employer refuses to reinstate her, the pregnant worker will be entitled to claim from a labour judge her reinstatement.
Labour Code §106, 107

Results generated on: 01st November 2014 at 07:57:49.
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