Co-authored by Lucy Objio of Pellerano & Herrera
Amendments to the Dominican Republic's labor legislation have been made following recommendations from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The changes are mainly intended to increase the duration of maternity leave by an additional two weeks.
The Labor Code of the Dominican Republic had previously provided in its article 236 that: "The pregnant worker has a right to a mandatory rest during the six weeks that precede the probable date of the childbirth and the six following weeks."
The addition of another 2 weeks takes the total duration of leave from 12 to 14 weeks. This ensures compliance with ILO Convention No. 183, on the Protection of Maternity, which states: "Every woman to whom this Convention applies shall have the right, by presenting a medical certificate or any other appropriate certificate, as determined by local legislation and practice, in which the presumed date of birth is indicated, to a maternity leave of at least fourteen weeks."
It is important to highlight that this leave is remunerated, and an employee taking leave can take the additional weeks after the birth of her baby if it is not taken during the pre-natal period.
Likewise, this amendment applies to all employed women, including those who perform atypical forms of dependent work.
This amendment is aimed at promoting equality for women and ensuring the health and safety of both the mother and the child.
The Dominican Republic incorporated this amendment through Resolution No. 211-14, dated as of July 6, 2014, but it was only brought into force in 2017.
This amendment to the Dominican Labor Code formed part of a series of proposed changes that were intended to be incorporated into legislation. However, the discussions between representatives of employers, employees, and the state remain ongoing in relation to other matters, and it is only the change in maternity entitlement that has been implemented to date. Supporters hail the change as an important step towards addressing social struggles, reducing inequality, and addressing the gender gap in labor participation.
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