Working During Maternity
Q: Is it lawful in Ireland for a woman on maternity leave to resume work briefly whilst on maternity leave and receiving maternity pay?
A: According to the law in Ireland, female employees may engage in an education courses or voluntary work during their maternity leave provided that the engagement is not paid for. If, however, this training you are planning to provide her with is going to be remunerated and subject to tax and social security, it will probably result in the suspension of the maternity benefit and could be seen as fraudulent.
Should you wish to award an ex gratia sum to your employee for whatever reason – such as ongoing personal development – it is best if you do so after they return to work in the form of a one-off bonus payment.