Maternity and Work

This page was last updated on: 2021-01-12

Maternity Leave

Female workers are entitled to a maximum of twelve weeks of maternity leave with pay. Working woman are required to provide medical certificates signed by a doctor, confirming the expected date of delivery before starting of the maternity leave; and the exact date of delivery after childbirth. A woman may start her leave two weeks before the tentative date of delivery. A woman worker who delivers a still-born or whose infant dies within one month of birth also benefits from a leave of four weeks from the day such event occurred (total of 06 weeks).

Under Social Security Policy, a woman on maternity leave can extend the leave by an additional 6 months following medical certification of her inability to resume work. However, this Policy was adopted in February 2009 while the new Labour Code was promulgated in May 2009 and this new Code has no such provision.

Source: Articles 64 & 68 of the Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (aka Labour Code), Article  4(3) of the Social Security Policy


Women workers are entitled to fully paid maternity leave for the first 6 weeks. While for the last 6 weeks, a new mother may resume work (and receive full salary) or receive 20% of her salary for these 6 weeks and remain at home.

The Bill on payment on maternity benefits has been passed in 2016. Employers are required to register an employee with the Social Security Administration within 7 days of the start of employment. The maternity benefits for post-natal maternity leave (6 weeks) are now covered by the Social Security Administration. The benefits are payable from seventh week of maternity leave.   

The maternity benefits are payable if the women worker was registered with the Social Security Administration within 6 months from the date of leave commencement; woman worker must have paid contribution to the scheme for at least a month; and presentation of medical certificate of delivery.

The contribution is 0.3% of the gross salary, payable by the worker and employer (0.6% in total).

Source: Article 65 of the Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (aka Labour Code); Law N°003/2016 of 30/03/2016 Establishing and Governing Maternity Leave Benefits Scheme

Free Medical Care

There is no provision for medical benefits for pregnant women and new mothers in the Labour Code. 

Regulations on Maternity and Work

  • Law regulating Labour in Rwanda, 2009 (Labour Code) / Itegeko rigenga umurimo mu Rwanda, 2009
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