37. (1) (a) Every female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave for a period of not less than sixty consecutive days (also referred to in this Part as the eligible period) in respect of each confinement and, subject to this Part, she shall be entitled to receive from her employer a maternity allowance to be calculated or prescribed as provided in subsection (2) in respect of the eligible period.
(c ) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a female employee shall not be entitled to any maternity allowance if at the time of her confinement she has five or more surviving children.
(d) For the purposes of this Part, “children” means all natural children, irrespective of age.
Commentary: Note the words "Every female employee". So, it does not matter whether the female employee is married or not. She will not be entitled to maternity allowance if at the time of her confinement she has five or more surviving children. She is of course entitles to maternity leave. Children mean natural children, adopted children are not included here.
“Confinement” means parturition resulting after at least twenty-eight weeks of pregnancy in the issue of a child or children, whether alive or dead, and shall for the purposes of this Act commence and end on the actual day of birth and where two or more children are born at one confinement shall commence and end on the day of the birth of the last born of such children, and the word ‘confined’ shall be construed accordingly.
Commentary: The above definition means the pregnancy must be at least twenty-eight (28) weeks old when the child (or children) is born. It does not matter whether the child is born alive or dead.
(2)(a) A female employee shall be entitled to receive maternity allowance for the eligible period from her employer if:
(i) she has been employed by the employer at any time in the four months immediately before her confinement; and
(ii) she has been employed by the employer for a period of, or periods amounting in the aggregate to, not less than ninety days during the nine months immediately before her confinement.
Commentary: Situation No.1, a pregnant woman gives birth after working for an employer for two months, is she entitled to maternity allowance? No, she is not. Although she fulfills condition (i) and not condition (ii) as she has worked for only two month, the law says it must be at least 90 days.
Situation No.2: A long time female employee resigns on 1st January and gives birth on 1st May, is she entitled to maternity allowance? No, she is not. Although she fulfils condition (ii) but she fails to fulfil condition (i) because during the 4 months immediately preceding her confinement she was already not in employment. If she gave birth on 30th April then she would be entitled to maternity allowance.