A positive outcome through collaboration Allen & Overy and Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam.
Allen & Overy works pro bono with various parties focused on protecting human rights, including, since 2019, with the Discrimination Hotline. After going through the adversarial process as usual for the Discrimination Hotline, and the outcome was not desirable, the Discrimination Hotline, together with associate Hannelore Vanderveen and colleague Tjarda van der Vijver of Allen & Overy filed a complaint with the Human Rights Board on behalf of our client for pregnancy discrimination.
"Human rights are close to my heart and it is distressing to see that 4 out of 10 women in the labor market are still directly or indirectly disadvantaged because of pregnancy or a newborn child, as shown in research by College for Human Rights. In our client's case, too, the employment contract was terminated because of her absenteeism, which stemmed from her pregnancy symptoms. The employer stated at the hearing that the woman herself, from duties of a good employee, had to cooperate in finding a solution. To remedy the pregnancy discrimination, the employer offered to reinstate the woman. The employer was under the assumption that there would have been no sex discrimination in that case. This defense, of course, does not hold up: no employer may fire a woman or decide not to renew an employment contract as a result of absence related to pregnancy." explains Hannelore.