Extended Maternity Leave: New Benefits for First-Time Parents

Maternity leave entitlements in Cyprus are governed by the Maternity Protection Law of 1977 and its subsequent amendments, including those introduced in 2021 (“Law”). Based on the stipulations outlined in the aforementioned Law, maternity leave is guaranteed to all mothers, regardless of whether they have physically given birth.
 
On February 21, 2024, the Council of Ministers approved two bills proposed by the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, which aimed to amend the Law as well as the Social Insurance Law of 2010 (Law No. 59(I)/2010) (“Social Insurance Law”). The primary objective was to extend maternity leave and maternity allowance to support new parents.
 
The bills suggesting this extension were voted upon by the Plenary of the House of Representatives on February 29, 2024.
 
Amendments to Maternity Leave Duration
 
The amendments include extending the maternity leave period from 18 weeks to 22 weeks for first childbirth or acquiring a first child through surrogacy. In the event of adoption, maternity leave is extended from 16 weeks to 20 weeks. Additionally, mothers are granted an additional week of maternity leave for each additional 14 days of infant hospitalization after childbirth, with a maximum total period of 8 weeks if hospitalization exceeds 63 days.
 
Amendments to Maternity Allowance
 
The amendments to Article 29 of the Social Insurance Law extend the period of maternity allowance to reflect the extension of the maternity leave period. Mothers are also granted an additional week of maternity allowance for each additional 14 days of infant hospitalization after childbirth, provided that the hospitalization exceeds 63 days, with a total maximum period of 8 weeks.
 
The above amendments are effective from March 1st, 2024, following their publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus. New mothers who have not yet utilized the 18 weeks of maternity leave as stipulated by the law prior to the amendment will also be entitled to an additional 4 weeks of extended leave.
 
For more information, please contact our firm at info@frangoslaw.com
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