Published: Dec 9, 2019

Iraq Maternity Protection

In October Iraq ratified the International Labour Organization’s (‘ILO’) Convention 183 – Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 2000 (the ‘Convention’).

The Convention applies to all employed women, including those in atypical forms of dependent work, whereas earlier ILO conventions applied only to industrial and commercial undertakings. Of particular note is that the Convention applies to women who are casual, temporary, part-time, sub-contractor and home-based workers, as well as self-employed and family workers.

Amongst other things, the Convention provides for a minimum of 14 weeks maternity leave and prohibits a pregnant or breastfeeding woman from performing work that would pose a risk to her health or that of her child. Further, it calls for the adopting countries to implement appropriate measures to ensure that pregnancy and maternity do not form a basis for discrimination in employment or access thereto.

The implementation of the Convention at the individual country level permits the Convention to be adapted in light of national laws and practices. Thus, it is left to be seen whether Iraq will implement all of the recommendations contained in the Convention or provide for some amendments.

The Convention was acceded to “[w]ith a view to strengthening the legal protection of maternity and the health and safety of children; with a view to further promoting equality for all working women; and for the purpose of acceding to the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised) No. 183 of 2000”.

Law 23 of 2019 On Iraq’s Accession to Convention 183 – Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 2000 was published on 21 October 2019 in the Iraq Gazette and is to be implemented from such date.


Al Tamimi & Company’s Healthcare Practice includes member of our Iraq office, who regularly advise on laws and regulations impacting the healthcare sector. For further information, please contact


Key Contacts:

Haydar Jawad
Senior Associate

Christina Sochacki
Senior Associate