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New maternity regulations will provide greater opportunities for women players

23 November 2020

New maternity regulations will provide greater opportunities for women players

New FIFA regulations will finally help protect the rights of female professional footballers who want to have children during their playing careers.

In a ground-breaking announcement made on 19 November, professional female footballers will be entitled to a minimum 14-week paid maternity leave, of which at least eight weeks must occur after the birth of the child.

The new regulations are minimum conditions agreed on by FIFA, FIFPRO and other stakeholders and will come into effect from 1 January 2021. Other key points include:

  • During the maternity leave the player shall be paid at least two thirds of the salary in case national law or CBA does not state a higher standard.
  • The possibility to remain registered, and if mutually agreed not to, to be registered upon return of the maternity leave, even outside the registration period.
  • The presumption that a contract terminated by the club in this period is due to pregnancy or maternity leave. The club is obliged to prove a dismissal is unrelated to the maternity, otherwise the player is granted an extra compensation equal to six salaries on top of the remaining value of the contract.
  • Freedom of the player to decide if she continues playing or not, provided that her health, independently assessed, allows her to.

“This is such an impactful and meaningful addition to our sport,” Jodie Taylor, England player and also a member of the Global Player Council, told FIFPRO's official website.

“Women’s footballers need these types of regulations to ensure that we can continue our careers confident that adequate provisions are in place should we decide to have children, which is both reassuring for us as players and reflective of what the professional game needs to keep growing.

"Hopefully this is the beginning of even more progressive and inclusive policies for female players.”

To read the Player Pregnancy & Parental Management FIFPRO policy guide please click on the link here.

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