FIFA prepares rules for clubs to protect players’ maternity leave

The football players they could see their right to a maternity leave protected, according to the new labor regulations announced this Thursday by FIFA.

The body that governs world football is preparing to require clubs to award at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave with at least two-thirds of the player’s full salary. National federations can insist on more generous terms.

“At the time of returning to work, the club it should facilitate the reintegration of the player and will offer medical and physical support, « said FIFA.

Any club that terminates a player’s contract for becoming pregnant risks having to pay compensation and a fine, as well as to see banned for a year of the transfer market.

« The idea is to protect the players before, during and after childbirth, » the head of the FIFA legal team, Emilio García, said in a conference call.

The measure is considered a crucial step in the professionalization of women’s football and in the respect for the family life of the players, following a successful World Cup in 2019 and an increase in investment by elite clubs in women’s affiliates.

American forward Alex Morgan, who won the World Cup last year, signed with Tottenham in September, four months after giving birth to her first child. He played his first game this month.

The FIFA Council was scheduled to approve the rules next month, and they will come into effect on January 1st.

Although FIFA’s judicial bodies have not been involved in contractual disputes over maternity rights, Garcia said they were looking to anticipate potential problems.

« We believe that these rules are part of common sense, » he said. The measures follow the standards on maternity leave of the International Labor Organization.

At least eight of the minimum 14 weeks maternity leave must be granted after the player gives birth.

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