Maternity Protection Act 1994
F23[Postponement of maternity leave or additional maternity leave in event of hospitalisation of child.
14B.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), an employee who is on maternity leave or is entitled to, or is on, additional maternity leave may, if the child in connection with whose birth she is on, or is entitled to, that leave (in this section referred to as ‘the child’) is hospitalised, request in writing (or cause a written request to be submitted to) her employer to postpone—
(a) part of the maternity leave,
(b) part of the maternity leave and the additional maternity leave, or
(c) the additional maternity leave or part of it.
as may be appropriate, in accordance with this section.
(2) An employee may make a request under paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) to postpone part of her maternity leave with effect from a date she selects only if the period of maternity leave taken by her on that date is not less than 14 weeks and not less than 4 of those weeks are after the end of the week of confinement.
(3) Notwithstanding the fact that an employee who is on maternity leave has not in accordance with section 14(4) notified her employer in writing (or caused her employer to be so notified) of her intention to take additional maternity leave, she shall be deemed, for the purposes of making a request under paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1), to have complied with section 14(4).
(4) An employer who receives a request under subsection (1) may agree to postpone the leave concerned and, if the employer does so—
(a) the employee concerned shall return to work on a date agreed by her and the employer that is not later than the date on which the leave concerned is due to end in accordance with the notification given, or deemed under subsection (3) to have been given, by the employee to the employer under section 9 or 14, as the case may be,
(b) the leave concerned shall be postponed with effect from the date agreed under paragraph (a), and
(c) the employee concerned shall be entitled to—
(i) the part of the maternity leave,
(ii) the part of the maternity leave and the additional maternity leave, or
(iii) the additional maternity leave or the part of it,
as the case may be, not taken by her by reason of the postponement (in this section referred to as ‘resumed leave’) in accordance with regulations made under this section by the Minister to be taken in one continuous period commencing not later than 7 days after the discharge of the child from hospital.
(5) An employer who receives a request under subsection (1) shall notify the employee concerned in writing of the employer’s decision in relation to the request as soon as reasonably practicable following the receipt of it.
(6) Where, following the postponement of leave under this section, an employee returns to work in accordance with subsection (4)(a) and during the period of the postponement she is absent from work due to sickness, the employee shall be deemed to commence resumed leave on the first day of such absence unless she notifies her employer in writing (or causes her employer to be so notified) as soon as reasonably practicable that she does not wish to commence such leave and, following such notification—
(a) the absence from work of the employee due to sickness shall be treated in the same manner as any absence from work of the employee due to sickness, and
(b) the employee shall not be entitled to the resumed leave.
(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4), regulations under this section may make provision in relation to either or both of the following matters:
(a) the maximum period of postponement of leave under this section, and
(b) the evidence to be furnished by an employee to her employer of the hospitalisation, and the discharge from hospital, of the child.
(8) Entitlement to resumed leave shall, subject to subsection (10), be subject to an employee having notified her employer in writing (or caused her employer to be so notified) as soon as reasonably practicable but not later than the day on which the leave begins of her intention to commence such leave.
(9) A notification under subsection (8) may be revoked by a further notification in writing given by or on behalf of the employee concerned to her employer within the period specified in that subsection for the giving of the notification concerned.
(10) An employer may, at the discretion of the employer, waive the right to receive a notification in accordance with subsection (8).
(11) Where an employee’s leave is postponed under this section—
(a) subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), the employee shall comply with subsection (1A), in lieu of subsection (1), of section 28,
(b) the employee shall not, in relation to returning to work under subsection (4)(a), be required to comply with section 28, and
(c) the employee shall, if deemed under subsection (6) to be on resumed leave, comply with subsection (1B), in lieu of subsection (1) or (1A), of section 28.]
Inserted (18.10.2004) by Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 (28/2004), s. 7, S.I. No. 652 of 2004.
Modifications (not altering text):
Application of section affected (18.10.2004) by Maternity Protection (Postponement of Leave) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 655 of 2004), regs. 3 and 4, in force as per reg. 1(2).
3. The maximum period of postponement of leave under section 14B or 16B of the Principal Act is 6 months.
4. The evidence to be furnished by an employee or an employed father to her or his employer, if so requested by the employer, for the purposes of section 14B or 16B, as the case may be, of the Principal Act shall be—
(a) a letter or other appropriate document from the hospital in which the child concerned is hospitalised confirming the hospitalisation, and
(b) a letter or other appropriate document from the hospital concerned or the child’s medical practitioner confirming that the child has been discharged from hospital and the date of that discharge.
Power pursuant to section exercised (18.10.2004) by Maternity Protection (Postponement of Leave) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 655 of 2004).