Maternity leave guidelines out

A boy and his mother queue up for 'Kurnia' at Istana Nurul Iman last year. Picture: BT/Rudolf Portillo

FOLLOWING the enactment of the Maternity Leave Order 2011 on New Year's Eve, the government through the Prime Minister's Office yesterday issued a circular outlining the new regulations.

The circular states that maternity leave is offered to civil service officers and staff who are legally married according to the laws of Brunei Darussalam.

Those entitled to apply for maternity leave are female officers and staff employed on a permanent service, month-to-month, on contract, site-staff, open-vote and daily paid.

The 2011 Order allows 15 weeks or 105 days of leave which must be taken two weeks before the expected delivery date.

In order to qualify for the leave, applicants must be endorsed by a government medical officer and must be in Brunei during the entire period of leave, states the circular.

Only those stationed overseas, forced to deliver abroad due to complications with the delivery or pregnancy or forced to seek post-natal treatment overseas are exempted from the second criterion.

The circular issued by the Prime Minister's Office also points out that the time taken under maternity leave will not be deducted from any excess in annual leave and period taken under maternity leave will not be accepted as annual leave.

With regards salary payments for those on maternity leave, the new directive states that officers or staff in the civil service, who have been in service more than six months or 180 days, will be given their full salary package while those who have been in service less than six months or 90 to 180 days will only be paid half.

Those in service with less than 90 days are not entitled to the salary package while on maternity leave, states the circular.

The new directive also includes a ruling in the event of a miscarriage.

According to the new directive, if the applicant is less than 24 weeks pregnant and suffers from a miscarriage, she will be granted sick leave.

If the said officer or staff is more than 24 weeks pregnant when she suffers miscarriage, she will then be granted maternity leave of eight weeks.

The approval for both sick leave and maternity leave must be authorised by a government medical officer.

The circular issued yesterday, which also highlights the new directive as being effective as of January 1 2011, automatically cancels out the Prime Minister's Office Circular 17/1993 issued on September 4, 1993, according to the Prime Minister's Office.

The Brunei Times

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