CA investigated by FairWork

Australian labour ombudsman FairWork have opened a probe into Cricket Australia’s contracts for female players after allegations of discrimination against pregnant players were levelled at the cricket body.

In response Cricket Australia announced today that it will continue to review its policies and contracts that apply to pregnancy, maternity leave and carer support.

The chief executive officer of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said the organisation was in the process of developing new policies, will seek further guidance from industry and sporting sector experts, and would include these in the next round of contracts with players.

Sutherland said the Fair Work Ombudsman had contacted Cricket Australia on Friday, seeking further clarification on Cricket Australia’s contracts following the allegations raised by the Australian Cricketers Association concerning potential pregnancy discrimination.

Sutherland said: “We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman, and welcome their inquiries because it is always our intention to provide the best support for all our players.

“We are extremely disappointed that this issue has been raised by the ACA. Their senior executives were fully involved in negotiating, amending and then agreeing the contract for women players in the first half of 2015. As the ACA has shown no objection to this contract, they should take responsibility for their role in developing the current policy.

“As I said yesterday, the pregnancy clause has never affected a female player’s right to sign a contract, and we have never, nor would we ever, discriminate against anyone on those grounds. It has only been about ensuring the safety of our players.

“Despite this, we will continue to focus on ensuring Cricket Australia does the very best for our women players to grow their game and encourage more girls and women to pick up a bat and ball, with their health and safety always at the forefront of everything we do.”