The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its 88th Session on 30 May 2000, and
Noting the need to revise the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952, and the Maternity Protection Recommendation, 1952, in order to further promote equality of all women in the workforce and the health and safety of the mother and child, and in order to recognize the diversity in economic and social development of Members, as well as the diversity of enterprises, and the development of the protection of maternity in national law and practice, and
Noting the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Equality of Opportunity and Treatment for Women Workers (1975), the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up (1998), as well as the international labour Conventions and Recommendations aimed at ensuring equality of opportunity and treatment for men and women workers, in particular the Convention concerning Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981, and
Taking into account the circumstances of women workers and the need to provide protection for pregnancy, which are the shared responsibility of government and society, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the revision of the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952, and Recommendation, 1952, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;
adopts this fifteenth day of June of the year two thousand the following Convention, which may be cited as the Maternity Protection Convention, 2000.
For the purposes of this Convention, the term woman applies to any female person without discrimination whatsoever and the term child applies to any child without discrimination whatsoever.
- This Convention applies to all employed women, including those in atypical forms of dependent work.
- However, each Member which ratifies this Convention may, after consulting the representative organizations of employers and workers concerned, exclude wholly or partly from the scope of the Convention limited categories of workers when its application to them would raise special problems of a substantial nature.
- Each Member which avails itself of the possibility afforded in the preceding paragraph shall, in its first report on the application of the Convention under article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization, list the categories of workers thus excluded and the reasons for their exclusion. In its subsequent reports, the Member shall describe the measures taken with a view to progressively extending the provisions of the Convention to these categories.
Each Member shall, after consulting the representative organizations of employers and workers, adopt appropriate measures to ensure that pregnant or breastfeeding women are not obliged to perform work which has been determined by the competent authority to be prejudicial to the health of the mother or the child, or where an assessment has established a significant risk to the mother’s health or that of her child.
- On production of a medical certificate or other appropriate certification, as determined by national law and practice, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman to whom this Convention applies shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave of not less than 14 weeks.
- The length of the period of leave referred to above shall be specified by each Member in a declaration accompanying its ratification of this Convention.
- Each Member may subsequently deposit with the Director-General of the International Labour Office a further declaration extending the period of maternity leave.
- With due regard to the protection of the health of the mother and that of the child, maternity leave shall include a period of six weeks’ compulsory leave after childbirth, unless otherwise agreed at the national level by the government and the representative organizations of employers and workers.
- The prenatal portion of maternity leave shall be extended by any period elapsing between the presumed date of childbirth and the actual date of childbirth, without reduction in any compulsory portion of postnatal leave.
LEAVE IN CASE OF ILLNESS OR COMPLICATIONS
On production of a medical certificate, leave shall be provided before or after the maternity leave period in the case of illness, complications or risk of complications arising out of pregnancy or childbirth. The nature and the maximum duration of such leave may be specified in accordance with national law and practice.
- Cash benefits shall be provided, in accordance with national laws and regulations, or in any other manner consistent with national practice, to women who are absent from work on leave referred to in Articles 4 or 5.
- Cash benefits shall be at a level which ensures that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living.
- Where, under national law or practice, cash benefits paid with respect to leave referred to in Article 4 are based on previous earnings, the amount of such benefits shall not be less than two-thirds of the woman’s previous earnings or of such of those earnings as are taken into account for the purpose of computing benefits.
- Where, under national law or practice, other methods are used to determine the cash benefits paid with respect to leave referred to in Article 4, the amount of such benefits shall be comparable to the amount resulting on average from the application of the preceding paragraph.
- Each Member shall ensure that the conditions to qualify for cash benefits can be satisfied by a large majority of the women to whom this Convention applies.
- Where a woman does not meet the conditions to qualify for cash benefits under national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice, she shall be entitled to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds, subject to the means test required for such assistance.
- Medical benefits shall be provided for the woman and her child in accordance with national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice. Medical benefits shall include prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, as well as hospitalization care when necessary.
- In order to protect the situation of women in the labour market, benefits in respect of the leave referred to in Articles 4 and 5 shall be provided through compulsory social insurance or public funds, or in a manner determined by national law and practice. An employer shall not be individually liable for the direct cost of any such monetary benefit to a woman employed by him or her without that employer’s specific agreement except where::
- (a) such is provided for in national law or practice in a member State prior to the date of adoption of this Convention by the International Labour Conference; or
- (b) it is subsequently agreed at the national level by the government and the representative organizations of employers and workers.
- A Member whose economy and social security system are insufficiently developed shall be deemed to be in compliance with Article 6, paragraphs 3 and 4, if cash benefits are provided at a rate no lower than a rate payable for sickness or temporary disability in accordance with national laws and regulations.
- A Member which avails itself of the possibility afforded in the preceding paragraph shall, in its first report on the application of this Convention under article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization, explain the reasons therefor and indicate the rate at which cash benefits are provided. In its subsequent reports, the Member shall describe the measures taken with a view to progressively raising the rate of benefits.
EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION AND NON-DISCRIMINATION
- It shall be unlawful for an employer to terminate the employment of a woman during her pregnancy or absence on leave referred to in Articles 4 or 5 or during a period following her return to work to be prescribed by national laws or regulations, except on grounds unrelated to the pregnancy or birth of the child and its consequences or nursing. The burden of proving that the reasons for dismissal are unrelated to pregnancy or childbirth and its consequences or nursing shall rest on the employer.
- A woman is guaranteed the right to return to the same position or an equivalent position paid at the same rate at the end of her maternity leave.
- Each Member shall adopt appropriate measures to ensure that maternity does not constitute a source of discrimination in employment, including – notwithstanding Article 2, paragraph 1 – access to employment.
- Measures referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include a prohibition from requiring a test for pregnancy or a certificate of such a test when a woman is applying for employment, except where required by national laws or regulations in respect of work that is:
- (a) prohibited or restricted for pregnant or nursing women under national laws or regulations; or
- (b) where there is a recognized or significant risk to the health of the woman and child.
- A woman shall be provided with the right to one or more daily breaks or a daily reduction of hours of work to breastfeed her child.
- The period during which nursing breaks or the reduction of daily hours of work are allowed, their number, the duration of nursing breaks and the procedures for the reduction of daily hours of work shall be determined by national law and practice. These breaks or the reduction of daily hours of work shall be counted as working time and remunerated accordingly.
Each Member shall examine periodically, in consultation with the representative organizations of employers and workers, the appropriateness of extending the period of leave referred to in Article 4 or of increasing the amount or the rate of the cash benefits referred to in Article 6.
This Convention shall be implemented by means of laws or regulations, except in so far as effect is given to it by other means such as collective agreements, arbitration awards, court decisions, or in any other manner consistent with national practice.
This Convention revises the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952.
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
- This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organization whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General of the International Labour Office.
- It shall come into force 12 months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
- Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member 12 months after the date on which its ratification has been registered.
- A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
- Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
- The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organization of the registration of all ratifications and acts of denunciation communicated by the Members of the Organization.
- When notifying the Members of the Organization of the registration of the second ratification, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organization to the date upon which the Convention shall come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary- General of the United Nations, for registration in accordance with article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by the Director-General in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as it may consider necessary, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
- Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
- (a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 16 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
- (b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force, this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
- This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.