Working Mothers in Cyprus

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 18.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 72  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? One hour
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 9 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Unpaid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 126
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? No provision
Who pays for parental leave? Employer
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

Maternity leave is provided and regulated under Maternity Protection Act.

A pregnant worker is entitled to maternity leave for 18 consecutive weeks. Of this, 11 weeks is considered compulsory leave (two weeks before the week of the expected delivery date, the week of delivery and eight weeks after the week of delivery). A woman worker is entitled to maternity leave on presenting a medical certificate from a registered doctor stating the expected week of her delivery. For health reasons of a infant (hospitalization), a new mother may be granted one additional week of maternity leave for every 21 days of hospitalization provided that the total additional leave may not exceed 6 weeks. 

If the confinement occurs after the expected week of confinement, the period of leave before the week of confinement is extended. If the confinement occurs earlier than the expected week of confinement, the remaining maternity leave is taken after the week of confinement, the total period of maternity leave of 18 weeks thus being  secured.

source: §3 of the Maternity Protection Act (100(I)/1997), as amended

Maternity allowance is payable, out of the Social Insurance Fund, to any employed or self-employed woman for a period of 18 weeks beginning between the ninth and the second week before the expected week of confinement. The benefit is also payable for a period of 16 weeks to adoptive mothers of children aged under 12.

There are certain qualifying conditions for access to maternity allowance, which are: the insured woman is on maternity leave and she does not receive her whole salary or wages from her employer; She has been insured for at least 26 weeks and has paid, up to the day of maternity allowance, contributions or insurable earnings not lower than 26 times the weekly amount of the basic insurable earnings (which changes from year to year); and the insured woman has paid or been credited with insurable earnings, in the previous contribution year not lower than 20 times the weekly amount of the basic insurable earnings.

There is also provision for maternity grant which is payable after the birth of each child if the mother, or her spouse, satisfies the insurance conditions.

Maternity allowance is a periodic benefit and is paid to natural mothers for 18 weeks, extended by six more weeks (if the infant is hospitalised in an incubator due to premature birth). Mothers receive the allowance for 16 weeks from the week of adoption if a child is less than 12 years old.

Maternity allowance is composed of the basic and the supplementary benefit. The weekly rate of the basic benefit is equal to 72% of the weekly average of the basic insurable earnings of the insured women in the previous contribution year. The weekly amount of the basic benefit is increased to 80% if she has one dependant, to 90% if she has two dependants and to 100% if she has three dependants. The weekly amount of the supplementary benefit is equal to 72% of the weekly average of insurable earnings of the insured woman on her basic insurable earnings. The maternity grant is a lump-sum payment, the same for all women who are entitled to it, and the amount for each child is equal to 6% of the yearly insurable earnings.

Payment of the maternity allowance is conditional upon filling and submitting the respective claim to the concerned department within 21 days after the date of commencement of the maternity leave. Payment of maternity grant is conditional on submitting the claim within one year of child birth.

source: §21, 26-30, Fourth Table (Part I & III) of The Social Security Act of 2010 (59(I)/2010), as amended

More about parental leave:

Parental leave is provided under the Cypriot Law. An employee (male/female) must have at least six months of continuous service with the same employer before entitlement to take parental leave. Part time workers, fixed term contract worker and temporary workers are also entitled to parental leave provided that they meet the service requirement.

Parental leave is individual entitlement for each parent and a parent is entitled to 18 weeks' parental leave for each child born or adopted. In the case of twins or multiple births, the entitlement to parental leave is 18 weeks per child. In the event of widow(er), the entitlement is raised to 23 weeks.

Mothers may take parental leave during the period between end of maternity leave and the child's eighth birthday. Fathers may take parental leave from the period of birth of a child until the child's eighth birthday.

Mothers may take adoption leave following the expiration of the maternity leave and within a period of 8 years, commencing on the date of the adoption, provided that the child is not over 12 years. An employee with one to two children may take parental leave for a minimum period of one week and a maximum period of 5 weeks during each calendar year.

After taking the parental leave, an employee has the right to return to same or an equivalent (or similar) job which cannot be inferior to the position held by the worker before taking parental leave. Once a parent has taken two weeks of his parental leave entitlement, he/she may transfer two weeks from the remaining parental leave period to the other parent.

source:  Parental Leave and Leave on Grounds of Force Majeure Law (47(I)/2012)