Self-employed mother wins unemployment claim after 11 years

Pregnancy testA woman who was ruled ineligible for unemployment payouts when she fell pregnant while she was self-employed has won her claim for compensation after a decade-long legal battle.

The woman claimed she had been discriminated against because her child was born in 2005, a year after the rules were changed to exclude self-employed mothers. In 2008 their entitlement was reinstated.

After taking her case all the way to the Supreme Court without success, she joined a group of five women who brought a discrimination claim under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to which the Netherlands is a signatory.

The district court of the Mid-Netherlands found in favour of the women when it ruled on Monday that the UWV, the organisation which regulates unemployment payouts, had violated the UN treaty.

A spokeman for the self-employed workers’ organisation ZZP Nederland said the ruling had corrected an ‘injustice’. ‘I can see more women making claims on the basis of this judgment, but we cannot comment on that yet. We will be following the case closely,’ the spokesman said.

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