Maternity leave and job protection for young mothers
If you’re a young woman expecting a child and you’re worried that your pregnancy could eliminate your source of income or force you out of your job, you should know that there are legal provisions providing you with maternity benefits and protecting you from any consequences. First of all, the Law on Labour states that employed women are entitled to get up to 12 months of maternity leave which can start as early as 45 days before the expected birth date. During the first six months, you are by law guaranteed to get 70% of your regular salary from your employer. In the next three months, the Government of Kosovo will compensate you with 50% of whatever amount is established as being theaverage salary in Kosovo. You are also entitled to an additional three months of unpaid leave. During this entire period – from pregnancy, maternity and all the way to absence from work due to special care for the child – the employer is legally prohibited from terminating your contract or transferring you to another post.
If yourmaternity leave rights are violated and there are no ways to resolve the issue through your employer, you can alert the Labor Inspectorate in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare by issuing an appeal. Inspectors from the Ministry or the Municipality can inspect your workplace while preserving the privacy of your complaint and take necessary steps to address the situation, which could entail providing advice to the employer on how to resolve the problem, issue fines or even halt work until the issues have been resolved. The Labor Inspectorate is obliged by Article 82 of the Law on Labour to issue a decision regarding your appeal within 30 days of when you filed your complaint or inform you of delays if necessary. If this does not lead to any resolution, then the issue can be taken to the Competent Court, which could force your employer to compensate you or reinstate your job.