Working mothers in Rwanda are about to become an even happier lot beside their new bundle of joy just recently arrived into the world.
Previously, working women who have given birth and were on maternal leave had to make do without close to 80% of their monthly salary. Their maternal leave lasted for just six weeks, after which, they are supposed to go back to work or face being relieved of their duty permanently.
In just six weeks, the baby is far from being satisfactorily weaned. To make matters even worse, the mother has not fully recovered from the labor process. It would actually feel like they are being forced to go back to work.
However, that could be a thing of the past if the plans by the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) works as planned. RSSB is a scheme set up by the Government of Rwanda to empower women in Rwanda in as far as full physical recovery and best care of newborn babies is concerned.
RSSB has set up a plan that will see mothers get the entire 100% of their monthly pay during their 12 weeks maternal leave. The scheme will pay for six weeks of the leave starting from the seventh week, while the first week up to the sixth week will be covered by the employer.
How does the RSSB Scheme make it work?
Only employed women are eligible to join the scheme. They can join the scheme at least one month before they go on maternal leave. The scheme receives monthly contributions from both the male and female staff, who have to pay 0.3% of their gross salary. The employer too is expected to make a contribution towards the scheme.
RSSB acts as the custodian of the maternal leave benefits insurance for the working women, during their 12 weeks stay at home while nursing their newborn child.