Maternity Leave & Childcare
The Cayman Islands’ Labour Law provides for a minimum Maternity leave allowance of 14 calendar weeks in any 12 month period. However, this is only available as an entitlement where the mother concerned has already completed a full year of employment with her employer.
Where an employee has not completed 12 months the law prescribes that any maternity leave may be pro-rated. You should enquire with your employer what their policy is regarding maternity leave, as some employers can be more flexible than others. There is nothing in the Law that prevents an employer from providing maternity benefits in excess of the minimums prescribed.
Currently an employer is legally required to offer 20 working days leave on full pay, 20 working days leave on half pay and 30 working days on no pay. For practical purposes this is treated by many businesses as the equivalent of 6 weeks at full pay, and 8 weeks at no pay. Maternity leave may generally be taken in whatever portions requested by the employee including both before and after the childbirth.
Please note that there is a provision in the new Labour Law (the Labour Relations Bill (2015)), which has not as yet been passed, which increases maternity leave to 14 weeks. Please make sure to ask.
Cayman Islands Law also provides for adoption leave. A female employee who adopts a child under the age of three, is entitled to adoption leave of nine calendar weeks, of which 15 working days are on full pay. Adoption leave may be granted once in any 36 month period.
Paternity leave for fathers who adopt is 5 days paid leave. Paternity leave is 5 days paid leave and 5 days unpaid leave.
Close to the end of your pregnancy, or once the baby has arrived, you may need some help with the work load at home, the care of other siblings, or just an extra pair of hands, so you can get some rest. It is very important to be aware that many people seeking domestic help positions, arrive in Cayman untrained in many aspects of housekeeping and childcare.