A female employee fills the tank of a car at a petrol station in Cairo, Egypt, March 15, 2016 (Photo: Ayat Al-Tawy)
Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled on Saturday that women who take extended unpaid maternity leave should still receive full annual pay increases.
The verdict was issued in a case brought forward by employees of Nasser Social Bank who were given only part or none of their annual pay increases while on unpaid leave.
The court stipulated that the annual increases granted to employees represent a right that strengthens their purchasing powers in the face of inflation, and that this right should not be denied to women employees on unpaid maternity leave.
The court added that the bank’s failure to guarantee women workers their annual increases could force them to forgo their right to maternity leave.
According to the country’s new civil service law, female employees can take a paid maternity leave of four months, with a maximum of three times, meaning three pregnancies.
women comprise 4.98 million of a total labour force of 25.5 million, according to the 2016 figures from the state statistics authority CAPMAS.
Egypt's population currently stands at 91 million.
In a separate case, the SCC ruled that workers who take early retirement should receive the full amount of their pensions if they paid their social insurance dues for 240 months, in accordance with the law.
Prior to this verdict, a cut in the pension ranging between five to 15 percent was applied if the early pensioner was younger than the official age of retirement.