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Calls grow for extending maternity leave to 90 days

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Mar 12,2022 - Last updated at Mar 12,2022

Representative image (Photo courtesy of unsplash.com/Aditya Romansa)

 

AMMAN — Calls are on the rise to extend maternity leave to 90 days instead of 70 for female private sector employees. 

According to the Jordanian Labour Law, a pregnant employee is entitled to 70 full paid calendar days off. 

Meanwhile, the Jordanian Civil service regulation provides a 90-day fully paid maternity leave for female public sector employees. 

“Here is where we want to step in and unify both laws,” Ahmad Awad, head of Jordan Labour Watch, told The Jordan Times.

Talia Sbeih, a private sector employee, who recently had a baby and is currently on her maternity leave said that most expecting mothers save their annual holiday and combine it with their maternity leave. 

Awad highlighted that if maternity leave is extended, mothers will keep their jobs. 

“Mothers have the right to spend adequate time with their babies,” said Sulaf Fakhry, who is also a mother.

Fakhry added that leaving her child who was less than three-month old at that time was “heartbreaking”. “I believe that the 70-day maternity leave is not enough,” she added.

Fakhry stated that she suffered from complications during her pregnancy, however, she did not have many remaining annual leaves and so could not extend her maternity leave. 

 “We need to spend more time with our newborns, it helps us connect with them and it also helps moms suffering from postpartum depression,” Fakhry added. 

As for Hamzeh Khaleel, whose wife recently gave birth to twins, told The Jordan Times that the three-day paternity leave is not enough. 

Khaleel said that his wife had a C-section, which requires a three-night hospital stay. Due to COVID, he was the only one permitted to stay the night at the hospital, therefore he had to extend the leave and take two more days off from his annual leave. 

According to the Jordanian Civil Service Regulation (2020), Article 106, and found the following, 

“A pregnant employee is entitled to 90 consecutive days of paid maternity leave prior and after confinement, pursuant to a medical report attested by a medical doctor or midwife. The maternity leave does not affect the employee’s entitlement to annual leave”.

“An employee is entitled to three working of paid paternity leave upon confinement of his wife, pursuant to a medical report attested by a medical doctor or midwife,” according to the regulation.

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