- Advertisement -

A number of Ghanaians have welcomed the proposal by the Ghana Employers’ Association for a two-week extension of the country’s maternity leave period, trusting that it will help to promote productivity.

A cross section of workers ADR Daily spoke to believe that the extension of the period from the current 12 weeks to 14 weeks will enable working mothers to adequately prepare to resume work.

The proposal follows moves by various stakeholders to secure an extension of the leave period to enable women undertake exclusive breastfeeding as well as recover from the stress of child birth before resuming work.

- advertisement -

Section 57(1) of the Labour Act 2003, (Act 651) states that “a woman worker, on production of a medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a midwife indicating the expected date of her confinement, is entitled to a period of maternity leave of at least twelve weeks in addition to any period of annual leave she is entitled after her period of confinement.”

In addition,  section 57(3) states that “the period of maternity leave may be extended for at least two additional weeks where the confinement is abnormal or where in the course of the same confinement two or more babies are born.”

In some of the views of people ADR Daily spoke to, the law already makes room for an extension in the fact that the law stipulates 12 weeks as the least period for maternity leave.

“If we have discovered that we need more days for maternity leave, we just need to increase the three month leave convention,” says Samuel Klutse, a Human Rights Advocate.

Mr. Benjamin Gamey, a Human Resource and Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Executive, on his part, believes that “the mother should be allowed additional days to enable her fully recover from the stress of child birth.”

Similarly, Mr. Koduah, a Superintendent of the Ghana Immigration Service, described the proposal as “a step in the right direction,” adding that more should be added.

“Women need ample time to prepare themselves before returning to work,” he added.

He explained that although maternity leave affects productivity, women would make up for the loss when they return fully recovered and energized for work.

However, Mr. James Appiah, a private employer, disagrees with the proposal saying, it will further burden employers.

“I accept it is in the law but to pay for the extra two weeks would be a burden,” he said

Similarly, Mr. Jerome Akafia, Mediation and Human Resource Management Consultant, believes “three months should be enough.”

According to him, the original three months leave is enough to cater for the needs of the working mothers, adding that, the mother would not be alone during that period but would have the support of her extended family.

He added that, the original period of three months has been used for years, saying “the sudden need for a longer leave is not necessary.”

Fred Gadese-Mensah /adrdaily.com

Previous articleWho are Social Partners?
Next articleNeed Help Getting Your Spouse to the Negotiating Table?
ADR Daily is a specialized news portal with a focus on providing authentic news, information and research analysis on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations Management (IRM) in Ghana and beyond. This platform serves as an information resource base for the progress of the ADR, HRM and IRM industries, and seeks to promote professionalism in ADR practice by supporting a network of ADR professionals within and across nations and continents. ADR Daily keenly encourages the mass adoption of ADR mechanisms, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration for the resolution of disputes in all spheres, through the publication of industry news and information, as well as by deploying innovative awareness creation engagements.