Unfair dismissal during protected maternity period in Benin
Consequences of childbirth led to a medical condition that would temporarily prevent rigorous physical activities, and subsequently have implications for the complainant’s work duties upon returning to Plan International Benin after maternity leave, due to the necessity of daily motorcycle travel. During extended maternity leave, she was dismissed on the basis of her health status and the asserted inability of the employer to find a suitable alternative role for her. The employer failed to meet the burden of proof that the dismissal was not related to maternity, as established by Article and was ordered to pay compensation.
Although Article 147 of the Constitution of the Republic of Benin provides for the supremacy of ratified treaties and agreements over domestic law, international legal standards of non-ratified instruments were considered in this case to provided support in the interpretation of the domestic provisions, in this case the Labour Code that guarantees labour protections to women before and after childbirth.
Case Title: Prisque Z. Hossou Djossou (represented by Cakpo-Assogba) vs. Plan International Benin (represented by Alfred Pognon)
Date of Judgement: 20 July 2009, [Link to official record, French only]