1. How is Maternity Leave Benefit paid?
Maternity Leave Benefit is payable in one payment covering the extended period of 4 weeks from 2013 onwards.
2. Is Maternity Leave Benefit means tested?
No. Maternity Leave Benefit is not means tested. Once the eligibility criteria are satisfied, benefit is paid.
3. Is Maternity Leave Benefit paid to unemployed women?
No. The Maternity Leave Benefit is only paid to women in employment (employed or self-occupied) who avail themselves of 14 weeks of maternity leave from work which is extended by the number of weeks mentioned in reply to question 1 above. Unemployed women on the other hand will be eligible to the Maternity Benefit only for 14 weeks.
4. Are contribution credits awarded to beneficiaries of the Maternity Leave Benefit?
Yes. Given that the extended period of maternity leave will not be paid by employers and hence no social security contribution is due for payment by employee in that extended period, beneficiaries will be awarded up to 4 credited contributions depending on the number of extended weeks of maternity leave availed of.