Cyprus has extended maternity leave entitlements for first-time birthing mothers, first-time adopting mothers, and mothers whose newborn is hospitalized for 14 or more days for health reasons. The extended leave provisions enacted by the Protection of Maternity (amendment) Law of 2024 apply to female employees who are on maternity leave or commencing maternity leave from 1 March 2024.

Key details

Maternity leave is extended for first-time mothers from 18 consecutive weeks to 22 consecutive weeks. It remains compulsory that mothers take a minimum of 11 weeks of leave, commencing two weeks prior to the expected birth.

The extended maternity leave entitlement also applies to new mothers who had their child through a surrogate mother. The surrogate mother herself is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave.

Mothers remain entitled to 22 consecutive weeks of maternity leave for the birth of a second child and to 26 consecutive weeks for each birth thereafter.

Adoptive mothers

Maternity leave for first-time adoptive mothers of a child under age 12 has also been extended from 16 consecutive weeks to 20 consecutive weeks. It remains at 20 consecutive weeks when adopting a second child and 24 consecutive weeks for each adoption thereafter.

Newborn hospitalization

New mothers whose infant is hospitalized because of health issues or premature birth are entitled to an additional week of maternity leave for every 14 days of hospitalization to a new maximum of eight weeks of additional maternity leave, increased from the previous six weeks.

Next steps

Employers should audit and update their current policies, procedures, handbooks, and agreements to bring them into compliance with the extended maternity leave provisions.