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Report No. 259

C. Maternity Protection Convention, 2000.

2.6 The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation adopted the Maternity Protection Convention, 200015 in order to promote equality of all women in the workforce and the health and safety of the mother and child. Taking into account the circumstances of women workers and the need to provide protection for pregnancy, it recognizes the shared responsibility of government and society.

It direct States to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that pregnant or breastfeeding women are not obliged to perform work which is prejudicial to the health of the mother or the child. Maternity leave is to include a period of six weeks' compulsory leave after childbirth having regard to the protection of the health of the mother and that of the child and a woman has to be provided with the right to one or more daily breaks or a daily reduction of hours of work to breastfeed her child.

In case of dismissal of pregnant women, the burden of proof rests on the employer to prove that the reasons of dismissal were unrelated to pregnancy or childbirth and its consequences or to nursing.

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