Working Mothers in Lesotho

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 12.0 weeks
Who pays for maternity leave? Employer
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? No
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
Does the law require parental leave for parents? No
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? No

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:

The rules on maternity leave are specified in the Labour Code.

The general duration of maternity leave is twelve weeks and comprises 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after the confinement. If confinement occurs after the anticipated date, prenatal leave is extended accordingly with no consequent reduction in postnatal leave.

In order to avail the maternity leave, a pregnant female employee must give notice of her anticipated confinement by delivering to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer certifying that the employee’s confinement will probably take place within six weeks from the date of that certificate. Within 21 days immediately after her confinement, a female employee must deliver to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer or a registered nurse and midwife certifying the date of confinement.

If the pregnant woman contracts any illness or has any complications while being pregnant, they can be allowed to take leave for up to eight weeks. The concerned woman is required to deliver to her employer a written certificate signed by a medical officer certifying their opinion that the employee is suffering from an illness arising out of her confinement and is consequently unfit to return to work.

Source: §133 of the Labour Code, 1992

Maternity leave is unpaid. There is no legal obligation for employers to pay wages during maternity leave, although the contract of employment may provide for paid maternity leave.

In accordance with the Wages Notice 2015, the following terms of paid maternity leave are allowed for different sectors provided that the worker has completed at least one year of service:

  1. 06 weeks paid maternity leave for textile, clothing and leather manufacturing;
  2. 12 weeks paid maternity leave for all sectors other than those specified in “a” and “c”;
  3. 06 weeks paid maternity leave for private security sector

The maternity leave benefit is limited to two confinements per employee (for a and b) during her employment with the same employer.

Source: §134 of the Labour Code, 1992; Part K of the Labour Code Wages Amendment Notice 2015

More about parental leave:

No provisions on parental leave were identified from within the law.