Women have been on the receiving end of imbalance in the workplace. These discriminatory factors have limited their full potentials or prevented them from effectively combining being mothers and career women. The existing laws and societal mindset have not in their entirety provided the framework needed for women to excel on the same pedestal as men. In a similar vein, companies or organizational policies have failed to accommodate regulations that would aid the performance of the woman at work. Against this background, this paper therefore examines Maternity Protection and job security in Nigeria banking industry (A case study of GTB Plc). The primary and secondary method of data collection was used in collection data for the study. Primary data were obtained through the use of questionnaires and interview while the secondary data were obtained through review of relevant literature. The population of the study comprises of thirty (30) staff of Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) Plc, Igboeze Street, Rangers Avenue Enugu, Enugu State, out of which a representative number was chosen as the sample size (twenty-eight (28) staff were selected). Simple percentage method, correlation and chi – square were used in analyzing the data collected. The study revealed that GTB practices maternity protection and job security. Also, that there is a significant relationship between maternity protection and efficiency at work. With respect to the findings arrived at, recommendations were made that Nigeria should exercise its role as provided under s.12 of the Constitution by adopting the CEDAW Convention to improve the lives of women. In this study, one of the findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between maternity protection and efficiency at work. Therefore, GTB, as well as other companies/institutions should make provision for on-site creche/breastfeeding facilities to assist women nurse their children. Healthy mothers and babies translate into efficiency at work.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Maternity protection means defending women’s rights to work. It also connotes that women work in dignity and benefit from conditions that exclude discrimination and discriminatory practices based on their sex and their reproductive role. Maternity protection also signifies that mothers and babies are entitled to safety at work and to healthy surroundings at the workplace. Moreover, it stands for allowing new mothers to take a paid maternity leave from work that is long enough to ensure their own health and rest and also the healthy beginnings of their child – enough time to bond with their child, establish a sound breastfeeding routine and follow WHA recommendations concerning 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. It also means that the replacement pay is high enough to ensure a decent standard of living. Also, being entitled to a leave implies being assured that her job awaits her upon her return from maternity leave. And of course, maternity protection also means that women have the right to work in an environment that facilitates breastfeeding when they return to work and thus are entitled to breastfeeding breaks, breastfeeding facilities and crèches at the place of work as put down in recommendation.
Historically, men were the breadwinners of the family and women the child bearers. Men did the paid jobs and brought income to the family while women were found more in the unpaid sectors such as farming and housekeeping. Most forms of work done by women outside the family were basically self-employed in nature and petty businesses. None of these involved working for an employer or being paid by one. It therefore meant the issue of maternity protection at the workplace was not relevant. The socioeconomic reality has however changed. Women are now actively involved in paid employment as much as their male counterparts. Their work is no longer seen as a ‘labour of love’ rather it is a ‘labour for wages’. The fight for women equality and empowerment has necessitated that women be able to enjoy opportunities as male workers without jeopardizing their reproductive roles. In recognition of the importance of maternity protection, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has three conventions in this regard. With each successive convention, the protection granted to women is more extensive. Nigeria has not ratified any of these conventions although it has provisions relating to maternity protection within its Labour Act 1971. This legislation was enacted over four decades ago within which period there has been a lot of socio-economic changes. There are more educated women and increasing number of women in the labour force. Women rights, equality for women, child rights and feminism are now being discussed and policies put in place to ensure that women are not discriminated against. It is therefore important to undertake a legislative reform of the law which was formulated when there were barely any women in the legislature. Although the legislature within the country is still male dominated, it is more likely to have a non-lethargic approach to women issues now that more women are involved in law making. Maternity protection in Nigeria is restricted to maternity leave, payments and breastfeeding breaks. With the ILO Convention 2000 it is clear that the international labour standard has moved beyond these traditional aspects. This paper therefore discusses the various components of maternity protection as advocated by the ILO and the right of women to maternity protection as supported by various international treaties. The maternity protection provisions in Nigeria are critically analysed in the light of international labour standards in order to determine the level of compliance of the country. It concludes by identifying areas that need legislative and policy reform. Thereafter recommendations are made to ensure that the country complies with international labour standards.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite the various commitments made by the State in enhancing social security, problems of vulnerable employment, especially among the group of female workers are still prevalent. The majority of working-age women in Southeast Asia are lower than that of men and women are usually lower paid. Furthermore, women face higher barriers to enter the workforce for example after spending time for giving the birth, caring little child or doing non paid homework. This leads to the difficulty for women to join social security benefits. Not only women in the nation have to face up with difficulties but migrant worker also have to. Therefore, Nigeria and other African countries need to pursue additional strategies to strengthen social protection of (female) migrant workers by promoting agreements between countries with the aim at ensuring that migrant workers and their families, bankers specifically, will have access to the programmes of the countries in which they have worked and are able to transfer their entitlements.
In terms of maternity protection in the banking industry and other workplaces, there is a particular need for effective actions through coherent and collaborative approaches at both regional and national levels. They shall ensure elementary rights such as maternity leave, cash benefits, medical care, protection from workplace risks, protection from discrimination and dismissals, and the right to breastfeeding on return to work.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The aim of this research is to examine Maternity Protection and job security in Nigeria banking industry (A case study of GTB Plc)
Following objectives include;
- To provide a current picture of where we stand and what we have learned so far on maternity and paternity at work.
- This paper will also discuss the various components of maternity protection.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does GTB practice maternity protection and job security?
- Does GTB provide written documents detailing these entitlements to female employees?
- What is the impact of maternity protection?
- What are the challenges that women without maternity protection face at work?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between maternity protection and work productivity.
Ho2: There are no significant benefits of maternity protection and job security.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This Study will guide ILO tripartite constituents and the Organization’s technical assistance in making a difference to the lives of working mothers and ensure that the principles of long-standing international labour standards become a reality for all everywhere.
This study will critically analyse maternity protection provisions in Nigeria in the light of international labour standards in order to determine the level of compliance of the country.
This paper will be of immense help to scholars willing to further research on this topic
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study centers on Maternity Protection and job security in Nigeria banking industry (A case study of GTB Plc). Therefore, the respondents to be covered will be Nigerian mothers in the banking industry.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.