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Feb 1 (Reuters) – Players in the Women’s Super League and second-tier Championship will receive maternity and injury cover as part of a landmark agreement between the Football Association and Professional Footballers Association (PFA) announced on Tuesday.

The new agreement will come into effect from the 2022-23 season, a statement said.

Under the new policy, a player going on maternity leave will be paid 100% of her weekly wage along with other remuneration and benefits for the first 14 weeks, before reverting to the applicable statuary rate.

“This is a considerable uplift on the current minimum of statutory, and would previously have only applied to players who had been employed by their club from a minimum of 26 weeks. The new policy will have no qualifying period,” the statement added.

The new maternity policy will form part of a club’s licensing agreement and must be offered to players to ensure license criteria is met.

As part of the long-term sickness pay, players will now receive their basic wage for the first 18 months if an injury occurs, then one half of their wage for the length of the injury thereafter. Previously, players received six months’ pay.

If a player has been incapacitated for injury or illness for a period of 18 months in a consecutive period of 20 months, a club can be entitled to serve notice, with the length of any notice being 12 months. Previously, the notice period was three months.

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