Improving maternity protection in the Lesotho workplace through foreign and international law considerations
Working provides a passage to a better life for both men and women globally. However, employment insecurity, discrimination, unfavourable working conditions and absence of maternity leave have acted as barriers for women to fully participate in the workplace. Against this background, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which oversees the adoption and implementation of labour standards, considered maternity protection as central in enabling women to reconcile work with their childbearing roles. Adequate maternity protection ensures that women are placed on an equal footing with men in employment and occupation. The ILO has adopted the Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) supplemented by the Maternity Protection Recommendation, 2000 (No. 191) to promote maternity protection at work. Employment and non-discrimination, maternity leave, cash and medical benefits, health protection and breastfeeding are recognised by the ILO as principles of maternity protection. Thus, to achieve effective maternity protection, Member States to the ILO have to adopt these elements at national level. The aim of this study is to improve Lesotho's maternity protection, which appears to be deficient with regard to the afore-mentioned. This is done by assessing Lesotho's legislative framework on maternity protection in order to crosscheck its compliance with international standards. The next part of the study explores the South African maternity protection which demonstrates significant progress from that of Lesotho. An analysis of the South African maternity protection is made with the intention of providing lessons for Lesotho, where it appears that Lesotho is lagging behind.
- Law