ACT Meteors captain Kris Britt says maternity leave is a “massive issue” for female cricketers. Photo: Matt BedfordACT Meteors captain Kris Britt says female cricketers can use the success of the Women’s Big Bash League in their “fight for equality” and that parental provisions is a “massive issue” for the players.
And Cricket Australia high-performance chief Pat Howard admits there are unfair disparities between male and female playing contracts that need to be addressed.
A pay submission leaked to News Corp indicated female cricketers were excluded from CA’s parental leave policy, which the Australian Cricketers Association was addressing on the players’ behalf in discussions for the next memorandum of understanding.
They were also required to declare they weren’t pregnant “to the best of their knowledge” when signing their contracts.
While the MOU will also look to address the large pay discrepancy between male and female cricketers, Britt said it wasn’t about getting an “exorbitant amount of money”, but more about getting fair conditions for the players.
The Melbourne Renegades allrounder said parental conditions was an area where they were looking for improvement.
It’s an area cricket is behind other women’s sports in Australia.
Netball Australia not only provides their players with paid parental leave, but also provides for childcare as well.
Any player with an infant can travel on tours with their children and a carer as well – at the expense of their employer.
The Matildas, Australia’s women’s soccer team, have similar provisions in their collective bargaining agreement and it’s something the USA women’s soccer team have had in place for 20 years.
Britt didn’t want to comment too much as the ACA were handling negotiations on the players’ behalf, but said it was an important area that needed to be addressed before the June 30 deadline.
She said the success of the WBBL had “changed the landscape” for women’s cricket in Australia.
“We’re looking to fight for equality for the female cricketers going forward, that’s a massive issue and something that’s being addressed and hopefully through negotiations it comes to a pretty positive resolution,” Britt said.
“It’s not about money … it’s not about getting paid more money and an exorbitant amount of money, it’s very much about the conditions.
“It’s very similar to any workplace – [standardising] the conditions for the players as employees, both female and male.”
Howard took to Melbourne ABC to address the report on Thursday morning.
The submission showed the minimum pay for men is $270,000 excluding superannuation, compared to $40,000 including superannuation for women, and while doctors were present at all men’s games, that wasn’t the case for women’s – with paramedics at some WNCL games instead.
Howard said women were legally required to confidentially notify CA’s chief medical officer if they knew they were pregnant purely as a safety precaution, but stressed a female cricketer would not be denied a contract if she was pregnant prior to signing on the dotted line.
“We are still in the very early days of negotiation. The current state of where we’ve got, there is disparity and we’ve got to continue to bridge that gap,” he said.
“Both the ACA and CA are absolutely on board in improving the conditions for women’s cricketers over this next MOU period.
“I would hope that we get significant improvements not just in that space but across the board.
“We appreciate where it is at the moment which is we want it to improve and we would hope all conditions we have got are fair and equal between both genders over the next MOU.”
While the Matildas enjoy parental provisions, the W-League players don’t, but it’s something Professional Footballers Australia is working on with the FFA for the inaugural CBA for the national league.
“An appropriate parental policy is inherent as we look to professionalise women’s football. The current coverage for W-league players is negligible. Addressing this is a primary objective for the PFA,” PFA chief executive John Didulica said.
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