Public Defender Recommends Private Company to Eliminate Discrimination on Grounds of Pregnancy in Labour Relationship
On 18 May, 2016, the Public Defenderaddressedthemicrofinanceorganization Credo with a recommendation to eliminate discrimination on grounds of pregnancy in labor relations.
According to factual circumstances, A.A. had been working in the Vani branch of the Credo company as a sales officer since September 10, 2013. The position was abolished in 2015 and a new position of a loan officer was created instead, which included functions of a sales officer as well. A.A. successfully passed an exam and an interview for the new position. After succeeding in the competition, on November 23, 2015, a three-month labour contract was signed with her for the position of a loan officer. On 24 February, 2016, the contract was canceled because of expiration of a term.
Pursuant to subparagraph “g” of part 3 of article 37 of the Labor Code, it is unacceptable to cancel an employment contract at the moment when an employed woman notifies an employer about her pregnancy, unless there is a ground envisaged by paragraph "b" part 1 of article 37, pertaining to expiration of a contract. The Public Defender considers that the abovementioned article should not be interpreted as if the expiration of a term automatically excludes the possibility of discrimination on grounds of pregnancy. Analysis of the legal framework and international standards shows that an employer is obliged to extend a contract if it is proved that the contract was canceled on grounds of discrimination. According to a representative of the Credo company, 8 persons were employed as loan officers in November 2015 and the contract was not extended only for A.A. which was pregnant at that time.
The Public Defender notes that none of the arguments, provided by the company representative, represent a legitimate goal justifying discrimination. Accordingly, the Public Defender considers that the refusal to extend the pregnant woman's contract was a direct discrimination on grounds of pregnancy.
Based on the above, the Public Defender, in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 9 of the law on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, addresses Ltd Credo to eliminate the consequences of the discriminatory treatment of A.A., to refrain from discriminatory treatment on grounds of pregnancy in labor relations in the future and to observe the principle of equality.