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Depriving Jobless Mothers From Maternity Pay is Inconsistent With the Constitution
Constitutional Court of Moldova declared it unconstitutional when jobless mothers, who resigned during pregnancy, are deprived from their maternity pay.
Thus, the Court held that legal provisions on the indemnity for temporary work incapacity and other social insurance allocations treat divergently different categories of mothers within the period prior to and following child birth.
In its reasoning, the Court mentioned that these conditions generate an unfair attitude between wives who did not work at all within the last 9 months prior to maternity leave and those who worked partially during this period. Even though on the day of giving birth these two categories of mothers enjoy the very same status of a dependent, the law provides for social remuneration only for unemployed wives for the entire period of 9 months of pregnancy.
In this context, the Court underscored that establishing a differentiated treatment in order to obtain maternity pay, with no objective and reasonable justification, is contrary to Constitution’s provisions on equality, right to social assistance and protection of family.
The Court also reiterated that although the State enjoys a wide margin of appreciation in social security, and as a consequence is entitled to extend social protection to a wider range of categories of people, the State is also under the duty to ensure a reasonable relationship of proportionality and equity between all categories of beneficiaries of maternity pay.
The judgment of the Constitutional Court is final, cannot be appealed, enters into force on the day of its adoption and is published in the Official Journal of Moldova.
The complaint was lodged with the Court as an exception of unconstitutionality raised by the representative of a female complainant, Ipatii Denis, within a case pending before the Court of Chișinău of Central District.
Today, 9 of February it is exactly a year since the Constitutional Court of Moldova adopted a Judgment that entitles judges of law-courts, lawyers and citizens with cases pending before courts of law to raise exceptions of unconstitutionality before the Constitutional Court of Moldova.
The case was examined by the Court in the following composition: Mr Alexandru TĂNASE, President and Mr Aurel BĂIEŞU, Mr Igor DOLEA, Mr Victor POPA, Mr Veaceslav ZAPOROJAN, judges.
The examined case relates to a female complainant who was employed in the job market within the 9 months preceding maternity leave, but resigned a few months before giving birth. She alleged that failing to provide a mother with maternity pay, based on her husband’s salary – considering she worked for a certain period of time within the 9 months preceding the day of giving birth and then resigned – constitutes a discriminatory treatment against mothers who do not work at all within this period of 9 months but enjoy this right.
Press Service of the Constitutional Court of Moldova
This press-release is also available in Romanian.