The governing body of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, popularly known as FIFA, will now allow at least 14 weeks of maternity leave to all women athletes, along with a pay of two-thirds of their full salary.
This mandate is protected under the new employment rules as announced by the international governing body of football. The national football bodies are allowed to negotiate more generous terms.
The players on maternity leave will receive adequate medical support from their clubs that will also be obligated to reintegrate them once they return from the maternity leave. Any club not adhering to this new rule, will be required to pay a fine and face a risk of being banned from the transfer market for a whole year.
This move is a step in the right direction in protecting women players before and after childbirth, and bringing in more professionalism to women’s football.
This new rule is expected to address any potential issues that may arise with more women joining professional football.
Out of the 14 weeks of leave, eight must be availed immediately after the player gives birth. Women coaches will also receive protection through formal contracts. Provisions will be made to ensure all women are paid on time. This new rule will benefit all women football players under FIFA.
The rules are expected to be formally approved by the FIFA Council in December, and be implemented w.e.f January 1, 2021.