Good news! From now on, maternity leave for mothers of premature babies who need hospitalization will only start to count after both are released from hospital and can be home together.
The Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided to extend the deadline for all mothers who have a formal employment contract, managed by the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT), granting an injunction (interim decision) which is starting to apply now.
The measure equals women’s rights since more than 279,000 babies are born each year in Brazil in premature births, needing hospitalizations that last as long as months.
Extension of maternity leave gives rights to mothers and premature babies
In the decision, it was emphasized that the beginning of the license count starts only after discharge, being a right not only of the mother, but of the newborn, who needs health, food, dignity, respect and family coexistence.
It has also been strengthened that, although many women are able to breastfeed in the hospital environment, it is at home that babies effectively need all the care and attention of their parents.
In progress in Congress since 2015, the preliminary order has yet to be analyzed by the court. But this provisional decision is already a big step, after all, all women deserve to have their children at home the same time as other women workers!
What does the law say?
The Constitution ensures that all women have the right to remain on maternity leave for 120 days to care for their babies, receiving the same salary. The law has extended this period to 180 days for companies that voluntarily choose to give more time.
In the case of premature mothers, the costs of the maternity pay will also be covered by Social Security during the period of extension of the leave due to hospitalization.
When is a baby considered premature?
Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered premature. In most cases, newborns with extreme prematurity, who are born at less than 30 weeks, must remain in the ICU. Some even breathe with the help of devices so that the developing lung begins to adapt.
According to data from the NGO Prematuridade.com (Brazilian Association of Parents and Relatives of Premature Babies) and the Ministry of Health, these cases are not few. To have an idea, in 2017 almost 320 thousand children were born before the period considered ideal for training.
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