Turns out, rather than getting maternity leave or any of the other leave/assistance options necessary for women to do a natural, biological thing that bodies do (have a baby), female cricketers here instead have to sign a contract for Cricket Australia promising that they are not pregnant.
Women’s cricket is going from strength to strength in Oz, but the Australian Cricket Association (ACA) says that women athletes are being treated unfairly by the peak body.
An ACA submission that was leaked to The Australian has shown the stark differences between the treatment of male athletes and female athletes, and the association says that the women’s contracts are denying them basic rights and conditions.
“Our female members find it outdated at best and rather condescending that they can only sign one-year contracts, making life planning very difficult, while men can sign multi-year contracts.
(Women) have to ‘warrant’ that they are not, to the best of their knowledge, pregnant when they sign their contract to play for Australia, which in itself is contrary to acceptable employer behaviour in any other Australian workplace.
(Women) are expressly excluded from Cricket Australia’s parental leave policy while other female members who work at CA’s head office may have the benefit of between four to 12 weeks of paid parental leave.”
And while the complete denial of maternity leave is obviously an extremely major issue, there’s a buuuuunch of other rubbish stuff that female cricketers have to agree to.
For example, “(Women) have to agree to behave in a ‘courteous’ and ‘sporting manner’ to play for their state while our male members do not.”
Plus, women don’t receive “the same rights to injury payments, visitor periods, high-performance standards and income protection as enjoyed by the men”.
Aussie cricketers Meg Lanning and Alex Blackwell signed the submission, highlighting its ability to “put us on the right path to creating meaningful equality of opportunity, regardless of gender”.
Male cricketers also supported the submission, with Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner co-signing a statement saying it’s “about a better deal for women cricketers, more investment in grassroots, giving the players greater say in the game and preserving the revenue-sharing model”.
While Cricket Australia earmarked $4.23m last year to double the incomes of their women cricketers, there’s still a insanely vast pay gap between the genders.
While pay differs from player to player and increases with match fees, the minimum wage for women remains at $40,000 p.a. (including super), while the minimum wage for men stands at a whopping $270,000 (excluding super).
The pay of male players comes from a revenue-sharing model, and the ACA submission calls to include women in this too.
We’ll update this story as more information arises.
Source: The Australian.
Photo: Scott Barbour / Getty.