What you need to know about maternity leave

By law your employer is not obliged to give you paid maternity leave, but you are entitled to four consecutive months of maternity leave.
Workers may take maternity leave one month before their due date, or earlier or later as agreed or required for health reasons.
According to the Department of Labour, workers may not go back to work within six weeks after the birth unless their doctor or midwife says it is safe.
They added that a worker who is pregnant or nursing may not do work that is unsafe for her or her child.

Claiming UIF
Workers must apply as soon as they go on maternity leave and can claim for 17 weeks.
Women who miscarry in the third trimester or have a stillborn child can claim for six weeks.
Workers must fill in the application forms and, together with other required documents, hand it in at a labour centre. Benefit payments will be paid at your bank account and no tax is payable on the benefits.
If you get more money than you should, you must pay back the extra money.
Workers on maternity leave must apply for benefits at their nearest labour centre in person or organise for someone to go in their place. They must take the necessary documents with them.
Before workers can claim, they must get the following documents ready:
* Bar-coded ID or passport.
* UI-2.8 form for banking details.
* UI-2.7 form.
* UI-2.3 form (application form).
* Medical certificate from a doctor or birth certificate of the baby.
* UI-4 form (follow-up form).
Staff at the labour centre may ask pregnant women to go to the doctor again or to visit the labour centre at certain times. Workers should do what they ask, or they may not be able to claim.

Maternity leave around the world
* Germany: 14 weeks leave, 100 per cent paid leave.
* Japan: 14 weeks leave, 67 per cent of salary.
* USA: 12 weeks leave, benefits granted at state level.
* Australia: 18 weeks leave, 100 per cent of salary.
* South Africa: Four months leave, benefits granted at Unemployment Insurance Fund level.
* Armenia: 140 days, 100 per cent of salary.
* Russia: 140 days, 100 per cent of salary.
* Nigeria: Three months, 50 per cent of average salary.
* Swaziland: 12 weeks, only two weeks are paid.
* France: 16 weeks, 100 per cent paid, and up to 34 weeks in the event of multiple births.

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