Providing maternity protection in employment Providing right of employed women to protection of maternity
It is generally recognized that maternity protection is not merely compatible with equality, but is indispensable for achieving it. There is however concern at the adequacy of maternity protection measures, their application and their effects on women's employment opportunities.
Article 8 of the European Social Charter (Revised) (Strasbourg 1996) provides: With a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the right of employed women to the protection of maternity, the Parties undertake: 1) to provide either by paid leave, by adequate social security benefits or by benefits from public funds for employed women to take leave before and after childbirth up to a total of at least fourteen weeks; 2) to consider it as unlawful for an employer to give a woman notice of dismissal during the period from the time she notifies her employer that she is pregnant until the end of her maternity leave, or to give her notice of dismissal at such a time that the notice would expire during such a period; 3) to provide that mothers who are nursing their infants shall be entitled to sufficient time off for this purpose; 4) to regulate the employment in night work of pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and women nursing their infants; 5) to prohibit the employment of pregnant women, women who have recently given birth or who are nursing their infants in underground mining and all other work which is unsuitable by reason of its dangerous, unhealthy or arduous nature and to take appropriate measures to protect the employment rights of these women.
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