Amendments to the Protection of Maternity Law in Cyprus

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Amendments to the Protection of Maternity Law in Cyprus

Recent changes to the Protection of Maternity Law, effective from March 1, 2024, have increased maternity leave to 22 weeks. These modifications are designed to support both expectant mothers and those who were already on maternity leave by the specified date. Published in the Official Gazette (N.14(I)/2024) on March 1, 2024, these revisions to the 1997 Protection of Maternity Law notably increase the duration of maternity leave from 18 to 22 consecutive weeks. Of these, 11 weeks are mandated as compulsory leave, starting no later than two weeks prior to the anticipated week of childbirth.

Below are the key points of the amendments, presented in detail:

Updated Maternity Leave Duration in Cyprus:

The period of maternity leave has been increased from the previous 18 consecutive weeks to 22 consecutive weeks. Out of these 22 weeks, 11 are mandatory and must commence no later than two weeks before the anticipated week of childbirth.

Surrogacy Consideration:

Employees who become mothers through surrogacy are now eligible for an extended maternity leave of 22 weeks, aligning with the general maternity leave provisions.

Surrogate mothers are granted 14 weeks of maternity leave, starting two weeks before the expected date of delivery.

Adoption Provision in Cyprus:

For employees adopting their first child, the amendment extends maternity leave from 16 consecutive weeks to 20 consecutive weeks.

Maternity Leave for Subsequent Children in Cyprus:

A medical certificate from a registered doctor is required to validate the expected week of delivery for the first child.

For the second child, maternity leave entitlement is 22 consecutive weeks.

For the third child or subsequent children, the leave period increases to 26 consecutive weeks.

Additional Leave for Infant Hospitalization in Cyprus:

Should the new-born require hospitalization, the mother may be entitled to an additional week of leave for every 14 days of the child’s hospital stay, up to a maximum extension of 8 weeks, which is an increase from the previously allowed 6 weeks.

Applicability to Current Maternity Leave:

These amendments also apply retroactively to employees who were on maternity leave starting March 1, 2024.

 Social Insurance Adjustments:

Corresponding amendments have been made to the Social Insurance legislation to accommodate the extended maternity leave period, ensuring entitled employees receive their maternity allowance for the additional weeks.

Protection Against Dismissal and Additional Rights:

Dismissal Protection:

Female employees are safeguarded against termination from the time they notify their employer of their pregnancy until five months post-maternity leave. Exceptions include cases of serious misconduct, cessation of business operations, or the expiration of a fixed-term contract.

Flexibility for Nursing Mothers:

New mothers have the right to either start work an hour later, leave an hour early, or take a one-hour break during the workday until the child is nine months old. This hour is recognized as paid working time.

For more information contact us directly.


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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. For more detailed information and personal legal guidance, please contact us.


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