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Solomon Islands - Maternity protection - 2011


LAST UPDATE

24 October 2011

Data quantity

NORMAL

SOURCES


Name of Act

Labour Act, as amended to 1996, and related Rules, including the Labour (Domestic Servants) Rules and the Holidays, Sick Leave and Passages Rules. Published by the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute at http://www.paclii.org/sb/legis/consol_act/la84/ and accessed 20 October 2011.

Name of Act

Safety at Work Act, revised edition 1996. Published by the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute at http://www.paclii.org/sb/legis/consol_act/la84/ and accessed 20 October 2011.

Other source used

Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2010-2011, released 2011. Solomon Islands-ISSA report.

MATERNITY LEAVE


Scope

The right to maternity leave applies to all female workers except casual workers.
Labour Act and Rules §42(1)
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Qualifying conditions

The pregnant worker must produce a medical certificate stating the anticipated date of her confinement.
Labour Act and Rules §§42(1)

Duration


Compulsory leave

At least 6 weeks of the maternity leave period must be taken after childbirth. It is an offence for the worker’s employer or any other employer to give her employment during this 6 week period, and acceptance by a female worker of such employment from any other employer shall be deemed to be a breach of her previous contract.
Labour Act and Rules §42(1)

General total duration

A female worker shall be entitled to up to 12 weeks’ maternity leave from her employer.
Labour Act and Rules §42(1)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2004: Twelve weeks
  • 1998: Twelve weeks
  • 1994: Twelve weeks

Extension

The leave before the anticipated date of confinement shall be extended by any period elapsing between the anticipated date of confinement and the actual period of compulsory leave to be taken after confinement shall not be reduced on that account.
Labour Act and Rules §42(2)

Leave in case of illness or complications

In case of illness arising out of pregnancy the leave entitlement before confinement shall be of such duration as is certified to be necessary by a medical practitioner. In the case of illness arising out of confinement, any extension of leave in addition to the period of compulsory leave, shall be of such duration as is certified to be necessary by a medical practitioner. However, any additional leave certified as necessary which exceeds the twelve weeks of maternity leave may be deducted from the annual leave or sick leave entitlement of the worker.
Labour Act and Rules §42(3)
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RELATED TYPES OF LEAVE


Parental leave

No provision for parental leave identified.

Paternity leave

No provision for paternity leave identified.

Adoption leave

No provision for adoption leave identified.

RIGHT TO PART-TIME WORK


General provisions

No right to part-time work identified.

CASH BENEFITS


Maternity leave benefits


Scope

The scope of the maternity leave cash benefits mirrors the scope of the maternity leave entitlement.
Labour Act and Rules §42(1)

Qualifying conditions

The worker must produce a medical certificate stating the anticipated date of her confinement.
Labour Act and Rules §42(1)

Duration

The duration of the maternity leave benefit mirrors the period of maternity leave taken by the employee, up to a maximum period of twelve weeks.
Labour Act and Rules §42(3)

Amount

While on maternity leave, the employee shall be paid not less than twenty-five per centum of the wages she would have earned had she not been absent from work and for any period of additional annual or sick leave at the full rate to which she is entitled during such leave.
Labour Act and Rules §42(3)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 25 per cent of wages earned before going on maternity leave.
  • 2004: Twenty-five percent
  • 1998: Twenty-five percent
  • 1994: Twenty-five percent

Financing of benefits

The employer is required to finance the maternity leave benefits.
Labour Act and Rules §42(3)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: Employer
  • 2004: Employer
  • 1998: Employer
  • 1994: Employer

Parental leave benefits

No relevant entitlements identified.

Paternity leave benefits

No relevant entitlements identified.

Adoption leave benefits

No relevant entitlements identified.

MEDICAL BENEFITS


Pre-natal, childbirth and post-natal care

A female worker shall, whilst absent from work on maternity leave in accordance with the provisions of this section, be entitled to such medical benefits, including pre-natal, confinement and post-natal care and hospitalisation where necessary, as may be provided by government or private medical services, and her freedom of choice of doctors and between a public and private hospital shall be respected by the employer.
Labour Act and Rules §42(4)

Financing of benefits

The employer is required to finance the medical benefits which must be provided during the maternity leave period.
Labour Act and Rules §42(4)

HEALTH PROTECTION


Arrangement of working time

There are no working time provisions which relate specifically to pregnant workers. Further, the only working time provision which relates specifically to female workers is a prohibition on night work.

Night work

Women shall not be employed during the night in any undertaking, except where the night work:
(a) has to do with raw materials or materials in course of treatment which are subject to rapid deterioration; or
(b) is necessitated by an emergency which it was impossible to foresee and which is not of a recurring character; or
(c) is that of a responsible position of management held by a woman who is not ordinarily engaged in manual work; or
(d) is that of nursing and of caring for the sick, or other health or welfare work; or
(e) is carried on in a cinematograph or other theatre while such theatre is open to the public; or
(f) is carried on in connection with a hotel or guest house, or with a bar, restaurant or club; or
(g) is carried on by a registered pharmacist; or
(h) is not prohibited by an international convention applying to Solomon Islands and is specifically declared by the Minister by order to be work upon which women may so be employed.

The Minister may by order from time to time suspend the prohibition of the employment of women during the night when in case of serious emergency the public interest so demands.
Labour Act and Rules §§39, 41
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Other work arrangements

Breastfeeding: An employer shall allow a female worker who is nursing a child to leave her work for this purpose for up to an hour twice a day during her working hours. Such interruptions of work shall be counted as working time and shall be remunerated accordingly.
Labour Act and Rules § 42(5)

Dangerous or unhealthy work


General

There are no restrictions specific to pregnant or breastfeeding or female workers, save for the prohibition on mine work for women. However, employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of all his employees under §4 of the Safety at Work Act.
Safety at Work Act §4(1)

Risk assessment

No express requirement to conduct risk assessments identified.

Particular risks


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

No woman shall be employed in underground work in any mine, unless she:
(a) holds a position of management and does not perform manual work; or
(b) is employed in health or welfare services.
Labour Act and Rules §40
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NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY


Anti-discrimination measures

No relevant provisions identified.

Prohibition of pregnancy testing

No relevant provisions identified.

Protection from discriminatory dismissal

During the period that a female worker is absent from work on maternity leave, it shall not be lawful for her employer to give her notice of dismissal, or to give her notice of dismissal at such a time that the notice would expire during her absence or to give her notice of dismissal until such absence has exceeded the normal period of maternity leave and any additional leave which may have been certified to be necessary by a medical practitioner.
Labour Act and Rules §43

Burden of proof

No relevant provisions identified.

Guaranteed right to return to work

The Labour Act does not provide for a guaranteed right to return to work after maternity leave. Rather, it imposes an obligation on workers who have received a cash benefit during a period of maternity leave to return to work after the maternity leave or additional period of leave approved by her employer. Where a worker fails to do so without reasonable cause, she shall be regarded as having abandoned her employment without due notice and shall be required to pay to her employer an amount equivalent to the greater of:
(i) the wages payable during the period of notice specified by section 3 of the Labour Act; and
(ii) the wages payable during the period of notice for which express or implied provision is made in her contract or service.
Labour Act and Rules §43(2)

Results generated on: 23rd April 2014 at 10:50:57.
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