11 months’ maternity leave sought

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Johannesburg - Trade unions and non-govermental organisations (NGOs) have called for 11 months' maternity leave for mothers, The Times reported on Tuesday.

This followed a recent conference where unions and NGOs noted inconsistencies in legislation and bargaining agreements, which made women feel punished for having children, reported the newspaper.

Cosatu gender forum chairwoman Sharone Daniels was quoted as stating: “The current legislation appears to have been written without consideration of women in the workplace.

“It was expected that women would be pregnant and chained to the stove. The law has to change to accommodate women.”

Many at the conference felt the current four months of maternity leave allowed to new mothers was far too short to bond with their newly-born child.

SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry senior policy consultant Pietman Roos said if maternity leave was extended, employing women would be seen as a risk to companies.

“It's a cost factor. It would ultimately affect the chances of getting a job for all women,” he told the newspaper. - Sapa

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