Maternity leave entitlements (Ireland)


I'm new to my HR role so this might be a silly question!

1) we have a full time employee who will be going on Maternity leave in Aug 2019. the company will be paying 2/3rds her basic salary for the 26 weeks maternity leave. she has also said she will take the additional 16 weeks unpaid. 

my question (or confusion) comes from the company policy where annual leave and bank holidays are paid as part of the paid maternity benefit.

is this right? can you pay annual leave days and public holidays with maternity benefit. 

our working week is Mon-Fri. we don't work Bank Holidays etc...and receive a paid day off.

2) on another note, how much contact can you have with someone on maternity leave? if they are on annual leave i assumed there was zero contact but what if policies change or job opportunities come up? are there any guide lines.

any thoughts would be appreciated!