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Substantive Labour Code, 1950, Colombia (Maternity Leave)

Substantive Labour Code 1950; Section 236-237 (Maternity Leave)

Female employees are entitled to a maximum of eighteen weeks of maternity leave with full pay including 01 weeks of prenatal (or maximum two weeks) and 16 weeks of postnatal leave. It includes one-week compulsory pre-natal leave.

Maternity leave can be extended up to 2 additional weeks in case of multiple or premature births. The maternity leave under the earlier 2011 law was 14 weeks however from 2017, the duration is raised to 18 weeks. It is obligatory for a pregnant worker to inform the employer about her pregnancy, the presumed date of confinement and the date of commencement of maternity leave.

A medical certificate must also be provided upon confinement. In case of miscarriage and premature birth, female worker is entitled to paid leave for two to four weeks. To avail this leave, an employee must provide a medical certificate to the employer, indicating the date on which abortion or miscarriage occurred and rest time recommended by the doctor.

Parents may freely distribute among themselves the last 6 weeks of the maternity leave, as long as the following conditions are met:

1. The time of shared parental leave is counted from the date of delivery, unless the treating physician has determined that the mother must take between one or two weeks of leave prior to the probable date of delivery or by determination of the mother.

2. The mother must take at least the first twelve weeks after delivery, which are non-transferable. The remaining six weeks may be distributed between the mother and the father, by mutual agreement between the two. The treating physician must authorize the parents’ agreement in writing. The paternity leave is separate from the shared parental leave.

3. In no case may leave periods be fragmented, interspersed or taken simultaneously except for postpartum illness of the mother, duly certified by the doctor.

4. Shared parental leave is remunerated based on the salary of the person enjoying the leave for the corresponding period. The payment for leave is payable either by the respective employer or EPS, in line with the applicable regulations.

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