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FG Increases Maternity Leave Period to Four Months for Pregnant Workers in Nigeria

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal Government has extended time allowed as maternity leave for pregnant workers in Nigeria, from three to four months.

This was made known by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the ongoing International Labour Conference (ILC), in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said, “Employers of labour (in Nigeria) are, by regulation, requested to provide workplace crèches for nursing mothers for ease at work place. In the public service, government recently increased the period for maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks; to allow enough recuperation for both baby and mother, especially in the area of breast feeding.

“In addition, all disciplinary proceedings against any female staff, which might have been taken during the period of her maternity leave shall be put in abeyance till the expiration of the leave.

He added that, employers are also barred from sacking married or pregnant women.

“Employers of labour are also barred from removal of women from work due to their marital or maternity status, illegal labour migration, contract staffing and labour casualisation which affects most women, are being reformed through policies and regulations at national, bilateral and multilateral levels,” he said.

“The ratification, domestication and implementation of the Maternity Protection Convention No. 186 are conscious efforts to ensure that more women enjoy maternity protection in the country…”

However, the Minister cited that a lot still needs to “be done in terms of putting in place appropriate legislation, policies and practices to deal with the gender gaps that inhibit greater participation of women in the labour force.”

More so, while addressing questions on gender inequality and youth unemployment in Nigeria, Ngige told delegates, that the federal government already mapped out plans that are being implemented, under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

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