Zambia and Malawi: Maternity Protection in the Sugar Sector


Area Clause
Length of Continuous Employment to access benefits ZAM: 2 years but only apply to permanent workers, not seasonal; casual workers are not covered by CBA. (National legislation: 2 years)
MAL: 2 years for both permanent and seasonal; casual workers do not have access to benefits (union can negotiate with management on the latter) (NL: 2 years)
KASCOL: 2 years, but no pregnant women are hired; seasonal workers are not covered
Length of Maternity Leave> ZAM: leave applicable only after delivery; women report back to work after 90 calendar days (inc. holidays) after delivery (if rest is needed before delivery, permanent workers have to use their annual sick leave or holidays (30 days): it’s not maternity leave; maternity leave: once every two years
MAL: (as provided by NL) report back after three calendar months; women decide when leave starts; leave is granted once every three years
KASCOL: 90 days; once every two years
Cash Benefits ZAM: full salary paid by employer (national schemes used to pay an ‘allowance’)
MAL: full salary paid by employer (in neither case: no payments made through the national schemes)
KASCOL: full pay by employer
Medical Benefits MAL: free check-ups, drugs and medicines: permanent and seasonal workers are covered
ZAM: free check-ups for permanent workers, not for seasonal workers
ZAM: permanent workers have access to medical care after delivery; seasonal workers: only the women, not the children
KASCOL: permanent and seasonal workers have access to free medical check-ups
Health Protection (Lighter Duties) MAL: national legislation and CBA cover right to lighter duties by pregnant women
ZAM: no change in employment/job due to maternity
KASCOL: depends on recommendation by medical officer
Health Protection (leave during pregnancy for medical checks) MAL: time for check-ups is paid by company
ZAM: time for check-ups is paid by company
KASCOL: free check-ups, full pay, depends on medical officer
Health Protection (leave after child birth in case of complications) MAL: leave due to complication is not counted against maternity leave
ZAM: same to Malawi: days are counted against sick leave not maternity leave; worker can apply for un-paid leave
Premature delivery, miscarriage & stillbirth MAL: time-off related to agreement (sick-leave); return to work depends on negotiation and medical assessment (flexibility on the part of management)
ZAM: same as Malawi, according to decision of medical officer but only to permanent workers (seasonal workers are not covered)
KASCOL: medical officer recommends when the leave is to be taken
Employment Protection MAL: women return to their normal duties without loss of pay or conditions
ZAM: women return to work with the benefits accrued to the positions during the period she was away on maternity leave (if any): applicable only to permanent workers
KASCOL: same as ZAM
Breast Feeding/lactation breaks MAL: two 30-minute breaks during the work shift in ‘factory work’; in field work there’s only one break (about 8 hr. shift)
ZAM: direct representation: workers can ask permission for breast feeding break (sometimes babies are brought to the mother)
ZAM: women have leave of absence to nurse a sick child at hospital
KASCOL: child will be brought to the mother
Protection against discrimination because of maternity MAL: CBA/national legislation provide protection against discrimination
ZAM: protection for seasonal workers is provided by national legislation but does not appear in the CBA; (seasonal workers: they are not hired if they are pregnant)
KASCOL: seasonal workers discriminated against if they are found to be pregnant
Paternity Leave MAL: employees do not have paternity leave; only senior management qualifies for paternity leave (starting front-line up to top managers) according to personal arrangements with management.
ZAM: not applicable
KASCOL: not applicable
Paternity Benefits MAL: no benefits
ZAM: no benefits
KASCOL: no benefits

Sources: SPAWUM-Malawi; NUPAW-Zambia Sugar and KASCOL (Kaleya Cane Outgrowers Ltd.)

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