Sports

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir hails maternity pay ruling as achievement for future moms

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has hailed her landmark maternity pay ruling as an achievement ‘for all ladies who’re to comply with’, after receiving over £72,000 in unpaid salaries from Lyon that she was due whereas pregnant.

Gunnarsdottir introduced she was anticipating her first little one in April 2021, and gave start in November.

The Icelandic worldwide agreed with Lyon that she would return to her homeland at some stage in her being pregnant, earlier than returning to the French membership after giving start. However, Lyon stopped paying her wages whereas she was in Iceland, claiming they have been following French legislation.

In May 2022, Gunnarsdottir received a declare in opposition to Lyon by means of the FIFA Maternity Regulations. This entitled her to full cost all through her being pregnant and till the beginning of her maternity go away. The laws had been launched in January 2021, however Gunnarsdottir is the primary participant to win such a declare.

“I’m happy with what I’ve achieved, not only for me, however for all ladies who’re to comply with; all of the gamers who’re about to change into moms, and who received’t have to fret about their careers as a result of they will use the instance that I’ve set to make sure honest remedy,” Gunnarsdottir instructed FIFAPRO – who have been instrumental within the introduction of the laws.

“Even after my son was born, I used to be made to really feel troublesome as a result of I wasn’t prepared to go away a three-month-old child in a single day. Being a mom was seen as a unfavourable affect, a doable distraction for the opposite gamers, when my son’s presence really introduced quite a lot of pleasure to my team-mates.”

Gunnarsdottir’s resolution to share her story comes the week after Emma Mukandi spoke about her expertise of maternity go away and being a brand new mom in soccer. This included initially pretending to have an damage as a result of there have been no maternity situations in her contract, not being permitted to have her child onsite resulting from Reading’s membership coverage, and having to breast pump in a cabinet.

Mukandi was given eight months full pay by Reading earlier than returning to motion in pre-season forward of the 2022/23 marketing campaign. The present FA maternity coverage – which was agreed in January 2022 – provides new moms 14 weeks of full pay earlier than reverting to the statutory fee.

“As nicely as profitable the case, I’m happy with being a part of the dialog round motherhood in soccer,” Gunnarsdottir added. “It’s not simply Lyon that has to do higher – however everybody. There must be extra preparation; it shouldn’t come as a shock when a younger girl turns into pregnant and desires to proceed her profession after the child is born.

“It’s not nearly monetary assist. As a sport, we have to perceive that being pregnant just isn’t an damage – it’s an vital a part of life for many individuals and golf equipment ought to have a system to accommodate this.

The membership should comply with up on and absolutely assist the participant, not simply abandon them till they’re able to play once more. If somebody at Olympique Lyon had simply reached out to me, given recommendation on find out how to safely practice, requested how I used to be feeling, it might’ve made the world of distinction.”

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