Maternity protection – A large majority of women workers, around 830 million, are not adequately covered in practice, mainly in developing countries

Maternity protection – A large majority of women workers, around 830 million, are not adequately covered in practice, mainly in developing countries

POSTED BY MICHEL COURNOYER ⋅ JULY 18, 2014 ⋅ 1 COMMENT

FILED UNDER  ILOINTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATIONMATERNITYPARENTAL LEAVE

Most countries have adopted maternity protection provisions since 1919, when the ILO adopted the first Maternity Protection Convention, yet at least 830 million women workers still don’t have adequate protection, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a new report.

In its report, Maternity and Paternity at Work: Law and practice across the world, the ILO said 66 countries out of 185 countries and territories have committed to at least one of three maternity protection Conventions adopted in 1919, 1952 and in 2000.

These Conventions stipulate the prevention of exposure to health and safety hazards during pregnancy and nursing, entitlement to paid maternity leave, maternal and child health and breastfeeding breaks, and protection against discrimination and dismissal in relation to maternity, as well as a guaranteed right to return to work after maternity leave.

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 66 out of 185 countries and territories have ratified at least one of the three ILO maternity protection Conventions.
  • 53 per cent (98 countries) meet the ILO standard of at least 14 weeks maternity leave.
  • 58 per cent (107 countries) now finance maternity leave cash benefits through social security. Between 1994 and 2013 financing of cash benefits through employer liability fell from 33 to 25 per cent.
  • A large majority of women workers, around 830 million, are not adequately covered in practice, mainly in developing countries.
  • 45 per cent (74 countries) provide cash benefits of at least two-thirds of earnings for at least 14 weeks – an overall increase of 3 per cent since the last ILO review in 2010.
  • A statutory right to paternity leave is found in 78 of the 167 countries. Leave is paid in 70 of these, underlining the trend of greater involvement of fathers around childbirth. In 1994, paternity leave existed in 40 of 141 countries with available data.
  • 75 per cent (121 countries out of 160) provide for daily nursing breaks after maternity leave.