PSV women’s soccer players will continue to be paid if they are expecting a baby. This is stated in a collective labour agreement that the club has introduced together with other parties. Paying pregnant professional players is not yet a matter of course in all Europe.
It was all over the news, last week: French football club Olympique Lyonnais has to pay former player Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir 82,000 euros in overdue salary. The Iceland soccer star became pregnant in early 2021 and temporarily moved back to her country of birth. Then Lyon decided not to pay her wages, until she was back with her team in France.
Something similar has not been possible at PSV for a while. in 2020 the club was one of the first in the Netherlands to adopt a collective labour agreement for women’s soccer. After the signing of the agreement, PSV director Fossen spoke of ‘a good day for women’s soccer’. “This is another step towards the conditions we once agreed with the men”.
In the collective labour agreement (CAO), which was composed with the employers’ organisation FBO and the labour unions ProProf and VVCS, the word ‘pregnancy’ appears twice. One provision states that the employee gets a day off if her spouse has given birth.
Another, more extensive provision is about the pregnancy of the employee herself. It states that all normal legal rules must be observed by the employer and that the full salary must be paid during pregnancy. However, the employee is obliged to perform possible replacement work.
Flaws in the agreement
The labour agreement does not state anything about the number of weeks of leave that can be taken during pregnancy and childbirth. Nor is there a protocol for dealings between employer and employee after pregnancy. Employers are legally obliged to provide a suitable and lockable room for women who want to breastfeed their baby, for up to nine months after giving birth. There is nothing about this care room in the collective labour agreement.
A PSV spokesperson cannot say how often players have claimed this arrangement in almost three years. It is likewise unknown whether the labour agreement of the soccer women will be expanded in the near future.