Friday, August 24, 2012

Ancient maternity leave

Maternity leave was a feature of Medieval Ireland. The Brehon Laws state that in the case of a pregnant servant of the household who was unable to fulfil her workload the man who caused the pregnancy had to provide relief for the pregnant woman by means of a replacement worker. The prescribed time period granted was one month ante-natal leave with a further month for post-natal recuperation.

c.f. Ni Chonaill, B. Child-centred law in medieval Ireland. In Davis, R. and Dunne, T. (Eds) The Empty Throne: Childhood and the Crisis of Modernity. Cambridge University Press (2008)

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