Under Cyprus Law an employed woman who is pregnant is entitled to maternity leave for 18 consecutive weeks. Nine of these weeks must be taken within the period beginning on the second week before the week of the expected childbirth.
Female employees who adopt a child under the age of 12 years and who have notified the Department of Social Welfare Services of the adoption are entitled to 16 continuous weeks maternity leave starting immediately from the date on which care of the child begins. The employee has an obligation to inform her employer, at least six weeks in advance, of her intention to adopt a child and of the date of taking the care of the child.
In addition to maternity leave, where an employed woman is breast-feeding or nursing a child, she has the right for a period of nine months after the date of confinement or adoption, as the case may to interrupt her employment for one hour or start work one hour later or finish work one hour earlier for the purposes of breastfeeding or for the increased needs of child raising. This time must be considered and paid as normal working time.
An employer is prohibited from dismissing or giving notice of dismissal to an employed woman, from the time she has notified him of the fact that she is pregnant, by producing to him the relevant medical certificate, or of her intention to adopt a child, as the case may be for a period of five months after the expiration of maternity leave.
The prohibition does not apply where:
- the employee is guilty of a serious offence or behaves in a manner that justifies the breach of the employment relationship.
- the business concerned has ceased operations or
- the duration of the contract of employment has expired.
In addition, mothers or fathers who have completed six months or more of continuous employment with the same employer are entitled to unpaid parental leave for up to 18 weeks in total on the grounds of childbirth or adoption.
New fathers are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave, provided that they meet the conditions of the Social Insurance Fund regarding contributions. Paternity leave can be taken within a period of 16 weeks from the date of birth.
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The above should be used as a source of general information only. It is not intended to give a definitive statement of the law.
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