I took paid maternity leave but a month after safe delivery, my child died. I informed the HR Manager about the death of my child. A week after I reported the death of my child to the HR Manager, she called me and informed me that I am supposed to go back to work because I am no longer breast-feeding so my maternity leave cannot continue till the expiry of 84 days which is what I was granted as maternity leave period. I would like to know from you if maternity leave ceases when a child dies before the expiry of 84 days which is the statutory leave period.
Section 33(6)(a) of the Employment and Labour Relations Act [Cap.366 R.E 2019] provides 84 days of paid maternity leave days irrespective of the fact that the child dies before the expiration of the leave period. Therefore the HR Manager is not right to call you back to work simply because you are no longer breast-feeding. Maternity leave is not taken only for breast-feeding an infant. It is also granted to give the nursing mother the opportunity to recover from health problems associated with birth.