Aug 06, 2015 News
The three City Constables who were sacked for becoming pregnant during their two-year probation period have been reinstated.
When Kaieteur News contacted Chief Constabulary Officer Andrew Foo yesterday, he confirmed the development and said that the decision to reinstate the women was made between himself and the Town Clerk, Royston King.
He said the specific details would be provided by the Town Clerk.
Attempts to contact Mr. King were futile.
In the past few days there has been widespread condemnation over the sacking of the three women. Their dismissal was as a result of a policy used by the organization which prohibits female officers from becoming pregnant within two years in accordance with the City Constabulary Standing Order section 4:11 (Para) J 11.
At a press conference held at City Hall on Tuesday, last, Superintendent attached to the training department of the Georgetown City Constabulary, Laurel Gittens, had explained the requirements to be upheld by applicants.
She had stated that by being lenient on this particular policy it would put a tremendous burden on the organization since they do not have the manpower capacity like the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force to facilitate such a cause.
“It would put a burden on the organization if we allow women to become impregnated during probation… The pregnancy constitutes a clear violation of the City Constabulary Standing Order section 4:11 (Para) J 11,” Gittens said.
She emphasised that any change in the policy would ultimately have to be made by parliament.
“This can only be done if it is introduced to the legal affairs of the city’s constabulary who would later introduce it to the City Council, who then would further take it to parliament for review, and only then can the policy be changed.”
Although both the constitution and the Prevention of Discrimination Act expressly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy, Gittens said that they do not see it as discrimination, but just implementing a policy which the women were fully aware of before being enlisted.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) Debra Lewis asserted that the policy is also looking out for the benefit of the women citing that a two-year period would give them enough time to have National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions which would eventually qualify them to have maternity leave.
Superintendent Gittens had explained that even though the pregnancies are a violation of a department policy, the authorities are tolerant to the point where ranks can go to their heads and explain the situation. After which they are given the option to resign and return at a suitable time after having the baby, and the person would be reinstated to their position.
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