Man United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain reveals Women's Super League clubs don't provide maternity benefits

Siobhan Chamberlain has made 18 appearances for the side since she signed in 2018 (PA Images)
16:28pm, Sun 22 Mar 2020
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Manchester United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has revealed that Women's Super League contracts do not include maternity rights.

The 36 year-old gave birth to her first child in January but when she broke the news to manager Casey Stoney last summer, they both discovered there was no guarantee of maternity leave in her Football Association standard player contract. 

The England international told Telegraph Sport: "It was obviously as much of a surprise to Casey as it was to me. 

"She was great – she’s a mother herself. She supported me and reassured me that the club would too."

In 2018, the WSL was relaunched when the FA made players in the top tier full-time professionals. But despite their progress, the players are only legally entitled to statutory maternity pay and leave. 

Chamberlain said: "It’s great that United supported me but it’s not just about me. I think if I was at another club I wouldn’t have been looked after how I have been at United. 

"It needs to be addressed, it’s about making sure other players that potentially aren’t at clubs that are as supportive still get looked after, and can have a child without losing their football contract or feeling that they don’t belong anymore, which is very possible."

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PFA director of women’s football, Marie Christine Bouchier said: "One of the main priorities for 2020 is to work with the FA to establish a Professional Football Negotiating Consultative Committee in the women’s game.

"Enhanced maternity rights would be a key priority amongst other fundamental improvements that would be addressed by this committee."