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close this bookMaternity Protection at Work: Revision of the Maternity Protection Convention (ILO, 1997, 122 p.)
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1 When Convention No. 3 was revised, the new Convention (No. 103) added the words “race or creed”.

2 Convention No. 103 extends the scope that was first provided in Convention No. 3, which covered “public or private industrial or commercial undertakings, or in any branch thereof”, to include women employed in non-industrial occupations, agricultural occupations and home-workers.

3 The Plantations Convention, 1958 (No. 110), also contains maternity protection provisions, but its scope is limited to all plantation workers, which is a subset of the category agricultural workers found in Convention No. 103.

4 Convention No. 3 contains a similar exemption with a slightly different wording: countries may exempt “undertakings in which only members of the same family are employed”.

5 Of the 34 countries that have ratified Convention No. 103, only four have made a declaration excepting these categories: Austria (domestic work), Brazil (agricultural and domestic work), the Netherlands (agricultural and domestic work), and Spain (undertakings engaged in the transport of passengers by sea).

6 ILO: Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, Report III(4), International Labour Conference, 49th Session (Geneva, 1965), para. 65, p. 197.

7 The possibility of entitlement to maternity leave without entitlement to cash benefits is well-illustrated by the differing provisions defining scope in Convention No. 103 and Convention No. 102 concerning minimum standards of social security.

Convention No. 103 covers women employed in whole sectors and whole classes of occupations. Convention No. 102, on the other hand, describes the persons protected in terms of minimum percentages of three prescribed classes: (1) not less than 50 per cent of prescribed classes of employees; (2) by prescribed classes of the economically active population constituting not less than 20 per cent of all residents; and (3) not less than 50 per cent of prescribed classes of residents. For countries with insufficiently developed economies that choose to apply the Convention progressively, women who fall into prescribed classes of employees constituting not less than 50 per cent of all employees in industrial workplaces employing at least 20 employees are covered. Whereas the spouses of covered employees are eligible for benefits, employed women falling outside the percentage of the workforce in the prescribed class would fail to qualify for benefits.

8 This applies, for example, to teachers in Trinidad and Tobago.

9 United Nations: The world’s women 1995.-Trends and statistics (New York, 1995), pp. 141-145.

10 C. Callender, N. Millward, S. Lissenburgh and J. Forth: Maternity rights and benefits in Britain, 1996 (London, Policy Studies Institute, 1997).

11 The equality of opportunity and treatment for workers and family responsibilities, unpublished report prepared for the ILO (Bangkok, 1997).

12 OECD: “OECD in figures: Statistics on the member countries, 1997 edition”, in OECD Observer, No. 206, Supplement (Paris, June-July 1997), pp. 10-11.

13 European Commission: Employment in Europe (Brussels, 1996), p. 53.

14 Examples of countries in which part-time workers are specifically excluded are Belize (if they work less than eight hours per week), Dominica (if they work less than 21 hours per week), South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago (less than ten hours per week).

15 ILO: Home work. Report V(1), International Labour Conference, 82nd Session 1995 (Geneva, 1995).

16 See, e.g., European Homeworking Group: “Portugal: Hidden hands”, in Homeworkers in Europe (Leeds, Summer 1997), pp. 6-7.

17 M. A. Abrera-Mangahas: “General situation of child domestic workers in the Philippines”, in ILO-IPEC: Consultation proceedings: Final report. National NGO Consultation on Child Domestic Workers in the Philippines, 2-4 August 1996 (Quezon City, Philippines).

18 F. Sly: “Women in the labour market: Results from the spring 1995 Labour Force Survey”, in Labour market trends (London, March 1996), p. 94.

19 Resolution on equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women in employment, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 71st Session, Geneva, 1985.