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De Jure Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 2225-7160
Print version ISSN 1466-3597

Abstract

MOGAPAESI, Tshepo. An overview of maternity protection in Botswana: A critique of the Employment Act through the International Labour Organisation's Maternity Protection Convention lens. De Jure (Pretoria) [online]. 2022, vol.55, n.1, pp.57-76. ISSN 2225-7160.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2225-7160/2022/v55a4.

This paper assesses the legal framework pertaining to maternity protection in Botswana's private sector. Botswana is a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but the country has not ratified the ILO Maternity Convention. This notwithstanding, the Government has enacted a legal framework on maternity protection through the Employment Act to guarantee some protection for female private sector employees. This paper critiques this framework through the ILO Maternity Protection Convention lens. Drawing on this comparative analysis, the paper highlights the manner in which Botswana's framework complies with international standards on maternity protection and highlights key points where legislative reform is justified. The analysis also considers the jurisprudence of Botswana's Industrial Court to demonstrate the contribution of the judiciary towards assisting employers and employees interpret the provisions of the Act, but most significantly, to highlight the extent to which the Industrial Court may use its equitable jurisdiction to protect the reproductive function of female employees in Botswana's private sector.

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