President Juan Manuel Santos signed into law on Tuesday the Maternity Leave Act, which will extend maternity leaves from 12 to 14 weeks.
Previously, women were given 12 paid weeks off after the birth of their child. The new law will give women an additional two weeks off before their due date. Senator Juan Lozano Ramirez, the author of the law, explained that the law was created to avoid improvised and risky births.
“…Women can prepare for their birth with dignity and children do not have to be born in police stations, in the TransMilenio, in taxis; so that women have due attention and that children can benefit from the company of their mothers with all the conditions.”
The law will go into effect immediately so that women who are currently pregnant will receive the benefits of the new law.
Adoptive parents without a spouse or life partner will also be included in the new bill. In the case of mothers giving birth to multiple children, they will receive an additional two weeks, totaling 16 weeks. Mothers cannot accumulate days for a future birth should they choose to return to work before the 14 weeks are finished.