Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Chelsea boss Hayes backs ‘massively needed’ contract reforms for professional female players in England

EMMA HAYES believes player contract reforms introduced to women’s professional football in England should be replicated worldwide.  

The Chelsea chief was speaking after the FA unveiled enhanced maternity, injury and sickness pay for pro players.

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WSL and Women’s Championship players will be entitled to improved maternity, sickness and injury terms in their contracts from next seasonCredit: Alamy

The move, announced on Tuesday, follows 16 months of talks between the sport’s chiefs and the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Contract changes, to start from next season, include players in the sport’s top two tiers being entitled to 14 weeks’ maternity leave pay on full weekly salaries.

Hayes, whose side face Man United in the Conti Cup semi-finals, told Sky Sports: “This has been massively needed and it’s another step in the right direction.

“We’ve got so much catching up to do in our game whether that be about the opportunity whether that be about provision behind the scenes.

“This is needed across the global game. Not just in England

“I think Fifpro are trying to put in place basic standards, basic minimums across the globe to protect the rights of women in football.”

Last week it was revealed the PFA had come to an agreement with football authorities over improved terms which will come into effect from next season.

These include WSL and Championship players having rights to any extra remuneration during the first 14 weeks of maternity pay before their wages return to a statutory rate.

Reforms will also incorporate fresh terms around contract terminations due to long-term injury.

And it is thought revised this may apply to new contracts offered this season if clubs opt to offer improved terms early.

Crocked players will also receive their standard wage for the first 18 months of them being injured

After this period, they will receive half their salary for the length of time they are out of action

Previously injured pros in women’s football would only receive six months of wages.

Clubs also had the right to give players three months’ notice if they had to end a contract due to injury or sickness that had kept a player out for 18 months.

 Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

Emma Hayes and Carla Ward are among the WSL managers backing contract reforms for professional female players

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Emma Hayes and Carla Ward are among the WSL managers backing contract reforms for professional female playersCredit: Getty

FA women’s game director Kelly Simmons described the reforms as a ‘significant step forward.

Simmons said: “Player welfare and wellbeing has always been our number one priority and this new policy ensures players are better supported, whether that’s going on maternity leave or as a result of a long-term injury.

“This objective was written into our Women’s Pro Game Strategy that we released last year, so I am pleased we have been able to achieve this.”

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