Govt law denies pay to women falling pregnant less than a year into job

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S working women who fall pregnant less than a year into their employment are not entitled to the mandatory 98 days of one going for maternity leave on full salary.

This was said by Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi while responding to questions by Senators in the Upper House on Thursday.

“Firstly, the Government of Zimbabwe does not have a policy of stopping people from getting pregnant,” said Minister Ziyambi.

“You can be employed today and you fall pregnant tomorrow. It is your human right to do that.

“Secondly, the Government then regulates to say that should you fall pregnant what should prevail in terms of maternity leave, which is exactly what the Honourable Member has indicated.

“That is the law to say that after one year of employment, you are entitled to 98 days and you get that but should you fall pregnant a day after being employed, you do not enjoy the benefits of going on maternity leave on full pay for 98 days.”

Early this month, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza told Senators that government was in the process of removing current restrictions on paid maternity leave.

Minister Nzenza said the proposals would enable female employees to enjoy the right to paid maternity leave irrespective of their length of service in line with the Constitution.

“These proposals would align the Labour Act (28:01) with the Constitution, which provides for maternity benefits in Section 65,” she said.

The proposed new systems, if implemented on time, could see Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry being among Zimbabwe’s working class women set to benefit from the changes.

Coventry, who is now nearly two months into her Ministerial job, revealed recently that she was pregnant.