Extension of Maternity Benefit for mothers of Premature Babies
With effect from 1 October 2017, the period for which maternity benefit will be paid has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely. The extended period of benefit will be equivalent to the duration between the actual date of birth of the premature baby and the date when the maternity leave was expected to commence (ordinarily two weeks before the expected date of birth).
Currently the Maternity Benefit payment is made for 26 weeks to women who are on maternity leave from work and covered by social insurance. This new measure will entitle mothers of premature babies to an additional period of Maternity Benefit, covering the period from the baby’s actual date of birth up to two weeks before the expected date of confinement which would normally have been the 37th week of the pregnancy, at which point the current entitlement to 26 weeks benefit would begin.