Extension of compulsory maternity leave for new mothers

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Il legislative decree n.151 of March 26, 2001 provides very specific rules regarding safety and risks for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The current regulations require the employer to check whether the work duties of the new mother may be harmful to breastfeeding and, if necessary, to modify them with other duties that do not cause any damage to the performance of the role of mother or, if this is not possible, to provide for exempt you from work. But how to request the extension of compulsory maternity leave?

In this article

  • Extension of compulsory maternity leave: what it is
  • How to make the request
Read also: Motherhood in the country: having children is increasingly difficult!

Extension of compulsory maternity leave: what it is

The birth of a child ensures by law a series of rights and facilities for the working mother. Maternity leave is the period during which the worker is obliged to abstain from work. Today it is also possible to work up to the eighth month and then stay at home for four months after the birth of the baby.

Parental leave

After taking the compulsory leave, the mother has a six-month period of abstention from work, which can be used up to the child's eight years of age continuously or split over time.

During the first three years of the child, the parent who takes leave from work using the optional leave, is entitled to an allowance equal to 30% of the salary, for a total period of six months.

Prolonged abstention up to 7 months of the child

Mandatory leave can be extended up to seven months from the birth of the child if the following situations arise:

  1. The worker is engaged in a "risky" activity, that is an activity that is tiring, unhealthy, or that exposes her to a risk to the health and safety of mother and infant (working or environmental conditions that are detrimental to health).
  2. The worker cannot be moved to other duties

The current legislation requires the Employer (Legislative Decree 645/98, Law 53/00, Legislative Decree 151/2001 and Legislative Decree 81/08) to assess the risks also in relation to pregnancy, puerperium and breastfeeding and to identify "safe" workplaces where the pregnant woman can continue to carry out her activity.

  • Extended working hours
  • shift work inducing mental or physical fatigue that aggravate the tiredness of the worker, fatigue related to pregnancy and the postnatal period
  • fatigue of standing

Preventive measures, in this sense, consist in modifying the organization of work aimed at regulating the frequency of breaks, the type and duration of work shifts.

What jobs are at risk

Tiring or unsuitable jobs are those listed in art. 5 of Presidential Decree 1026/76. This legislation specifies the activities for which the abstention from work must be adopted until the completion of the 3rd month of life of the newborn, and those for which the abstention from work must be extended until the completion of the 7th month of life of the child. newborn.

  • Physical agents
  1. standing position for more than half of the workshift
  2. fixed sitting position or fixed posture
  3. need to constantly get on / off the seat / chair in the workplace
  4. work mainly carried out on stairs or scaffolding
  5. and exposure to ionizing or even non-ionizing radiation;
  6. exposures to noise above 80 decibels.
  • Chemical agents
  • Biological agents

Economic treatment

During this period of absence from work until the 7th month of the child's life, the worker is entitled to 100% of the salary that was given to her before pregnancy.

How to make the request

The request must be made by submitting a specific application addressed to the territorial (provincial) labor management referred to in the link, specifying which factors put your health at risk after childbirth. The date from which it will be possible to proceed with the forwarding of this request is that of the child's birth. 

The territorial management will evaluate the presence or absence of staff occupational risks, and if there is the possibility of a possible transfer to another location or job role which could also involve a temporary assignment to a lower level job, but with the same salary paid before pregnancy.

In this way the new mother will be able to:

  • be assigned to another non-dangerous job
  • be transferred
  • accrue the right to abstain from work

The documents to be delivered

The documents to be produced are:

  • copy of the pregnancy certificate;
  • self-certification of birth of the child;
  • duly completed risk identification cards for working mothers;
  • photocopy of identity card;
  • copy of the acknowledgment of receipt by the employer of registered letter or e-mail / certified mail notification of the certificate of pregnancy / self-certification of birth.

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