NRL denies rejecting players’ pregnancy and parental leave policy | NRLW

The NRL says it will ensure NRLW players receive adequate support in bearing and caring for children, and rejects allegations that it tried to thwart the new maternity and parental leave policies.

The NRL said it has been working with NRLW clubs and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) on the new framework since October 2022.

They issued a statement Tuesday denying their refusal to include the RLPA’s pregnancy policy and private health insurance in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“NRL has moved to clarify regarding inaccurate and misleading statements made on social media regarding NRLW pregnancy and parenting policies and private health insurance,” the NRL said in a statement.

“NRL has an absolute focus on ensuring progressive and modern support mechanisms and playing conditions for pregnant or new parents NRLW players.”

Among the policies drafted by the three parties is that pregnant players have contract guarantees and can move on to safer work.

The NRL provides financial support each season to help the guardians of paid players, and also provides financial support to clubs for replacement players. It also provides paid and unpaid support for parents to care for their children up to 24 months of age.

Private health insurance for both male and female players will be funded through a salary cap covered by a 10.5% increase in the female cap. Female players in the game are considered a priority by the RLPA Remain without CBA.

This year’s NRLW season will be expanded to 10 teams, but no start date or duration has been set yet. NRL said it is working to resolve the issue.

“NRL and NRLW clubs have also worked to promote contract guarantees and multi-year contracts to ensure players have longer-term guarantees,” the statement said.

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