Maternity Leave – Questions and Answers

Especially for first-time moms, maternity leave is a subject that raises many questions and can seem complicated. Maternity leave, or maternity wages, is an acquired right of women and mandated by law , with the purpose that the mother gets used to a new rhythm of life, recover from childbirth and give the necessary attention to the child who ended up to be born: a being totally dependent on you right now.

Who is entitled to maternity leave?

All Brazilian women who contribute to Social Security , the INSS, or who have already contributed and are unemployed, are entitled to maternity leave . It is a benefit that guarantees women the equivalent of their fixed salary, or at least one minimum wage, during the period when she is away from maternity: at least 4 months.

However, to acquire the benefit, it is necessary to comply with some rules , such as the grace period, the minimum number of months of contribution, 10 months, and follow the procedures according to each case, detailed below.

Who is entitled to 6 Months Maternity Leave?

The 6-month or 180 calendar-day license is valid for federal public servants and most states and municipalities , and employees of companies that join the Corporate Citizen Program . This program encourages the expansion of maternity leave for another 60 days, in addition to the initial 120, due to the tax incentive that the company gains. Some unions are also trying to negotiate the expansion with companies in their sectors. This right was achieved mirrored in the laws of other countries.

Find out how the Citizen Company Program works and its procedures:

  • The employee of the company is the one who must make the request for the extension of maternity leave, until the first month postpartum or after the date on which she had custody of the adopted child.
  • The company must have its declaration for real profit registered on the IRS website . About 150 thousand Brazilian companies already have this registration. Look for this information in your employer’s human resources (HR) department.
  • If your company wants to declare a real profit, HR will enter the IRS website with the access code of the parent company and will extend its maternity leave. Thus, the amount of your salary will be deducted from the company’s income tax .

Who Pays Self-Employed Social Security Entitles to Maternity Leave?

Both jobs with a formal contract with CLT, as well as temporary or outsourced jobs of individual micro-companies and freelancers / freelancers must contribute to Social Security – INSS, and, therefore, are within the law of maternity leave . In the case of a self-employed or domestic worker mother, the license application must be made directly at the Social Security Office, from 28 days before delivery : it can be booked through the website and after the mother appears at the local agency with the original documents or send certified copies by post. There is no grace period of 10 months for self-employed women.

How to Receive Maternity Leave While Unemployed

Unemployed mothers may also have the right to maternity leave , if the last contribution to the INSS took place up to 1 year before delivery. Or, for those who worked and contributed for more than 10 years, with the last contribution being up to 24 months before delivery.

It is a social security protection that can be extended for up to 12 months after leave, if the mother proves that she remains unemployed . The wage value is according to the contribution category, based on the minimum wage.

Is a Pregnant Woman Who Loses a Baby entitled to Maternity Leave?

Women who have had a miscarriage are entitled to maternity leave , with a medical certificate proving the situation. In abortions up to twenty-three weeks of gestation, the leave is two weeks . From the 23rd week of gestation, when the loss is considered a delivery, the leave is normal for 120 days, which can be extended to 180 days; or who had stillborn babies, or who were stillborn.

When a Baby Is Born Dead, Is Woman Entitled to Maternity Leave?

Women who have a stillborn baby, that is, who was born dead after the 23rd week of pregnancy, can and should also take maternity leave . The general rule is: 120 or 180 days of leave.

Who Adopts Is Entitled to Maternity Leave?

Mothers and fathers who have adopted their children are also guaranteed maternity leave , counted from the moment of custody. The person who gains judicial custody for the purpose of adoption fits the same case.

The length of leave depends on the age of the adopted child – for babies under one year, the leave is normal, 120 or 180 days. For children up to four years old, the leave is only 60 days. And with the child over eight years old, the guaranteed salary time is 30 days. Another information is that the leave time is not multiplied due to the adoption of several children at the same time.

The adoption leave is not a “maternity” salary, but a “family” salary, that is, it can only be used by one of the couple’s people , or else by the single person who adopted it. In a situation where the father earns leave, for example, the mother of the same adopted child will not be allowed to leave.

Can I Be Sent Away Right After Returning from Maternity Leave?

Pregnant and new mothers are entitled to gestational stability , from the beginning of pregnancy to five months after delivery, and cannot be dismissed without just cause. Only if the leave is for 6 months or if it is amended with the vacation, can the employee be dismissed on return from work , since it will have passed the five months of stability. Upon dismissal for just cause, maternity pay for the period of leave will be paid by the government and not by the company.

A company that fires a pregnant woman or a newborn child without just cause must pay compensation for labor rights and all wages corresponding to the period of leave to which she is entitled.

Who Pays for Maternity Leave?

The salaries of licensed employees with a formal contract are paid by the company and, afterwards, the INSS transfers the amount to the same company. In the case of the 60 days of expansion of the companies that adhere to the Corporate Citizen Program, the total value of the 6 salaries is deducted from the company’s income tax.

How to Apply for Maternity Leave?

The license request must be made at the company , in the case of formal employees, or directly at Social Security , for servers, self- employed , unemployed and others. Direct orders can be booked through the Social Security website , with the woman’s PIS / PASEP number (can be found in the work card or in the IRS register), your data and employer data. Then she comes to the local agency with the original documents or sends certified copies by post.

A medical certificate is required when the request is made before delivery, and the baby’s birth certificate, when it is afterwards. In the case of judicial custody, the requested document is the term of custody with the observation that it aims at adoption, and, in the case of adopted children, the child’s new birth certificate is requested.

When can I take maternity leave?

Generally the woman chooses when she wants to submit the request, being possible from 28 days before delivery , minus the unemployed, who only have the right after delivery.

College Maternity Leave: How It Works

Students who contribute monthly to the INSS for a job or voluntarily in the amount of at least one minimum wage are entitled even though they are in college. Thus, pregnant women who are up to date with Social Security for at least 10 months , can apply for maternity leave. They must be aware that the amount that will be received each month of leave will be the reference salary of the contribution.

How to Report Maternity Leave at SEFIP?

The payment of FGTS, informed in the SEFIP system of the employer or self-employed person, is normal during the period of maternity leave, as if the woman were working and receiving her salary with the discounts. For the microentrepreneur who fills in their own SEFIP, the instructions are:

  • During the license period, place the occurrence code “05” on the registration screen;
  • In the field “Contribution Discounted from the Insured”, fill in with the amount deducted by the taxpayer related to the days worked, and 0 (“zero)” in the months when the payment was made in full by the INSS;
  • In the other fields, just follow the guidelines of the GFIP / SEFIP Manual
  • The fields “Deductions – Maternity Salary and 13th Maternity Salary” should only be filled in by the companies, as in the case of the self-employed worker, the INSS does not make reimbursement, since her leave was paid only by the INSS.

How to Calculate Maternity Leave

The maternity benefit is calculated according to the professional category of women, have registered with the INSS . Those who are domestic workers or CLTs continue to receive the same salary, while autonomous taxpayers receive the amount referring to the category of their contribution, with a minimum wage as the basis. Anyone who has more than one job is entitled to receive a license for each job.

How to Calculate Maternity Leave Time

The period of maternity leave is at least 120 days , which means 4 calendar months. And the maximum period of leave is 180 days, the 6 months to which the civil servants and employees of companies of the Corporate Citizen Program have direct. Only in cases of spontaneous abortion or adoption of children older than 1 year, the period of leave is shorter.

When the mother becomes ill or has complications after childbirth, she can extend the rest after leave by up to 15 days, showing the medical certificate. This period is paid as sickness benefit, by the company itself, or, after 15 days, by the INSS, with a new request.

Who is on Maternity Leave Receives Thirteenth?

The mother on maternity leave is entitled to the thirteenth salary and vacation , like any normal worker. The law says that this period applies for all purposes, as if she were working normally, unlike other types of leave.

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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