Maternity rights of athletes – new law recently adopted in Italy

Maternity rights of athletes – new law recently adopted in Italy

The discrimination of women athletes when it comes to their professional status and the denial of labour rights has been confirmed by the results of SWAFE project. This has a direct connection to the lack of maternity protection that many athletes are facing, being forced to chose between their professional careers and family life.

Our Italian affiliates, under the leadership of GIBA and its President Alessandro Marzoli, have been involved in the successful negotiations of a new law aiming to assure that elite level and professional women athletes can enjoy the same maternity rights as other workers.

The problem was linked to the lack of recognition of athletes “worker” status, which was only restricted to highest level, mainly Olympic athletes champions and famous sportswomen are considered “ worker “ and employed in a way that include maternity protection. All other athletes, due to a sport law – 91/1981 – are considered by their federation “dilettanti“ (amateur), even if they are de facto professional players. It would often happen that in case of pregnancy clubs would immediately terminate the contract with the athlete who would not be paid anymore.

The attempts to change this unacceptable situation have been going on since 20 years. Thanks to the extensive work of Italian player unions and cooperation with CONI Athlete Committee the importance of the issue has been recognized by the Italian government.

In December 2017 the law drafted in cooperation with athlete organizations has been approved by the Parliament and in February 2018 signed by Italian Prime Minister. This important law changes the restrictions related to athletes’ professional status, and importantly, establishes a funding system that will cover athlete’s maternity protection, making sure that their receive subsidies during their pregnancy to replace the sport wages.

More information (in Italian) available on GIBA’s website.

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World Players Executive Committee meeting and “Beyond Integrity” conference

World Players Executive Committee meeting and “Beyond Integrity” conference

EU Athletes has participated in the meetings organized by the World Players Association and taking place in New York at the NBPA’s office, on 5-6th of April 2018. The Executive Committee discussed latest developments in the organization’s wok on embedding human rights of athletes in sport, improving the governance of sport organizations and necessary reform of anti-doping system.

The meeting was followed by “Beyond Integrity” conference which gathered experts in the field of sport betting in order to discuss the impact it has on athletes and the possibilities for player associations to cooperate with the industry.

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EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

EU Athletes at the EU Sport Forum 2018

Hosted by Tibor Navracsics, the Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the 2018 EU Sport Forum has taken place in Sofia on 22nd and 23rd March.The EU Sport forum is the most important event in the European sport sector and an opportunity for EU institutions and Member States to engage in dialogue with the sport movement.

EU Athletes was present during the Forum, representing the voice of organized European athletes and participating in interesting discussions on the topics such as role of sport in international relations, sustainability of the Olympic Games, impact of the recent decision in the ISU case on the sport movement and implementation of EU Workplan for Sport.

Natalia Orive, the Vice-President of EU Athletes participated in the discussion panel “Women in sport: breaking the glass ceiling” and talked about the results of the SWAFE project and the role of player unions in advancing gender equality in sport.

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PROtect Integrity Plus Erasmus+ Project Meeting in Helsinki

PROtect Integrity Plus Erasmus+ Project Meeting in Helsinki

Project partners and staff have gathered in Helsinki, Finland for three days PROtect Integrity Plus Red Button meeting. The project, co-financed by the European Union and the private betting operators ESSA, EGBA and RGA, aims to fight against match-fixing by making sure that the professional and elite players in Europe have a secure and trusted App available to report anything suspicious.

The goal of the meeting was to prepare the seven partner player associations (AJFS, GIBA, HPVPA, HSF, RPA, RPI, PROVALE) to adapt and implement the Red Button app in 7 countries and 5 different sport. EU Athletes works closely with JPY and FIFPro, who have first developed the App, in order to ultimately create a first European-wide player unions-led reporting system across sports.

The project will help improve cooperation with player associations and National Platforms and create new synergies at the European and Global level. Prominent guests and experts, including Tiina Kivisaari (Ministry of Educaton and Culture) Harri Syvasalmi and Jouko Ikonen (Finnish Centre for Integrity in Sports), Martn Rostgaard (Anti-doping Denmark, Danish Natonal Platform), Paolo Bertaccini (Italian Government Office for Sport) have participated in the meeting and shared their achievements and experiences related to fight against match-fixing and dealing with the reports.

The new versions of the App are expected to be ready this summer. Subsequently, partner player associations will provide face-to-face integrity education to more than 3000 professional and elite level players and will introduce the new system to them during team visits.

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‘Improving player associations’ support for women athletes’

‘Improving player associations’ support for women athletes’

Over the course of last year, EU Athletes has been coordinating an Erasmus+ project ‘Supporting Women Athletes from Europe’ (SWAFE). Project partners included WGPA (Gaelic sports, Ireland), AJFSF (futsal, Spain) and HPVPA (volleyball, Greece). The project aimed to improve the support that the player unions are offering to their women members, and to support female athletes who are thinking about establishing an association.

The Guide, which is a result of research into experiences of female athletes and the issues identified by the player associations, exchange of experiences and best practices, and aims to provide a concrete assistance on the topic, is available here.

Recently, we have seen many female athletes aroundthe World raising their voices and taking actions against inequality or mistreatment they are experiencing as athletes. We are committed to bringing the European player associations together to work on areas of common interest, gender equality being one of its main priorities.

The European model of sport recognizes the role that the sports trade unions and player associations have in aiming to improve athletes’ working conditions and environment. Ensuring that the unions are well equipped to represent women’s interests will favour a progress in dealing with gender equality issues. Additionally, elite level athletes are the “shop window” for the grass roots and have a role to play in promoting sport participation. Promoting gender equality for them will encourage more girls to take sport seriously and engage in physical activity.

Recently, we have seen many female athletes raising their voices and taking actions against inequality or mistreatment they are experiencing as athletes. We are committed to bringing the European player associations together to work on areas of common interest, gender equality being one of its main priorities. The European model of sport recognizes the role that the sports trade unions and player associations have in aiming to improve athletes’ working conditions and environment. Ensuring that the unions are well equipped to represent women’s interests will favour a progress in dealing with gender equality issues. Additionally, elite level athletes are the “shop window” for the grass roots and have a role to play in promoting sport participation. Promoting gender equality for them will encourage more girls to take sport seriously and engage in physical activity.

More information about the project is available here.

 

 

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