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Zambia needs more flexible hours for mums

Read article on Zambian moms need more flexible hours for their job after the maternity. Get more information on Zambian law about maternity leave for women

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By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Zambia’s labour law on maternity entitles every working pregnant woman to four months leave. But even with what is considered ample time granted for the mother and child to bond, most mums still feel guilty about leaving their new babies to return to work.

The guilt is also compounded by the lack of qualified help to care for their babies. And the option for such a woman is to either to put their motherly instincts aside and go back to work, or quit their job to raise the baby.

But women in other countries are not so unlucky. They have various options at their disposal and only quit their jobs because they want to.

In the United Kingdom, for example, some companies offer their employees a choice to work from home while taking care of their children. This, however, is only done if they can work as efficiently as they would when working in the office, because working from home does not mean working fewer hours.

Another popular trend is job sharing, a trend in which two people get to share one job. Your responsibilities are shared and even if this means sharing your salary too, it is regarded as a great option for mums. Not only do they get to raise their children, they still continue contributing to the well-being of their families.

In Zambia, even working half-days is synonymous to civil servants and a few international organisations operating in the country and is normally restricted to Fridays. A few companies are now using working half the hours of a normal working day as way of easing mothers back into the system after their maternity leave.

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