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Woman demoted after maternity leave wins €32,000 damages
A senior manager in a large Belgian company who was demoted after returning to work from maternity leave has won €32,000 in damages.
A Brussels court heard that, before going on maternity leave in 2016, the employee had received a positive appraisal and a pay rise.
On returning to work, however, she discovered that she had lost her managerial position. A new boss had been placed above her and she no longer directly reported to the company's chief executive.
She resigned and took her case to the Institute for Equality of Women and Men (IEFH).
"This judgment confirms that on returning from maternity leave, a woman is entitled to the same working conditions," said IEFH director Michel Pasteel. "Without this security, pregnant workers find themselves in a very vulnerable situation."
Her payout is the equivalent of six months' gross salary. The IEFH, which registered as a civil claimant, was awarded a token €1 in damages.