Maternity leave extended to six months

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that the maternity leave granted to mothers have now been increased to six months.

The President made the announcement while addressing at a function held to mark International Women's Day.

All government employees who give birth are entitled to six months of paid leave effective from Thursday.

Granting six months of paid maternity leave to mothers and one month of paid paternity leave to fathers were presidential pledges of President Solih, aimed to be achieved within the first 100 days of administration.

Speaking at the ceremony, the President stressed the importance given by the government to empower women and increasing the role of women in development of the nation. The policy to achieve this can only be implemented after effectively addressing the challenges faced by the women of the society with the assistance of family and the members of the society, said the President. The government aims to assist in building a well-structured families, added the President.

"Our work will begin with the first breath taken by the baby coming into this world. Effective from today, all civil servants will receive six months of paid maternity leave in order to ensure that the child being born is well tended to", stated the President.

The President added that paid paternity leave of one month will also be granted to fathers effective from Thursday. Mothers of children who are currently under six months can also avail a paid leave until the baby turns six months, said the President.

Over the past few years, there has been a continual demand to improve maternity benefits being provided to female employees in order to ensure that infants are provided with wholesome and proper care and nourishment.