PCB announces parental leave policy for athletes

The landmark policy extends to both male and female cricketers and makes Pakistan one of only three countries to have such accommodating parental support policies.

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is being lauded for its introduction of its Parental Support Policy. The policy has paved the way for athletes to enjoy their parenthood journey, from pregnancy to after the birth of their child and extends to both male and female athletes. PCB’s decision to introduce this policy sees Pakistan joining ranks with the Australian and New Zealand Cricket Boards as being the only three countries to have such accommodating parental support policies.

The PCB has taken into account the struggles athletes often have to face juggling between their careers and family life. Between their strict training schedules and tournaments that require months of practice, it leaves very little time to spend at home.

However, with the introduction of the new policy the balance might be achieved. Female cricketers are now entitles to a year long paid maternity leave. They will also be granted the option to take on a non playing role as they approach their maternity leave days. The policy also ensures that their journey to motherhood will not impact their future in the game and will be provided proper training to rehabilitate their bodies post childbirth. Furthermore, if the new mothers will be required to travel once they return to the sport, they will be allowed to have one person of support travel with them to take care of the child.

As far as male cricketers are concerned, they too will be allowed certain privileges. These include being allowed up to 30 days of paid paternity leave.

Waseem Khan, the CEO of the PCB, explained that “women play a pivotal role in the development of a society and our women cricketers have brought us laurels and recognition at the world stage.” And so the introduction of the policy was “even more significant for the female players.”

He went on to say “now that we have maternity leave policy, I am hopeful that it will attract more women and girls to take up the sport as this will help them strike the crucial work-life balance.”

Here is to hoping that the parental leave policy by PCB paves the path for an even more inclusive and accommodating country at large.

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