The Commissioner at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Joseph Whittal has described as monumental, a recent court judgment that directed the reinstatement and compensations of two women who were sacked from the Fire Service for getting pregnant.
The two fire officers, Grace Fosu and Thelma Hammond, were dismissed from the Fire Service in 2014 after the Service discovered that they had gotten pregnant within the first three years after joining the Service.
Regulation 33(6) of the GNFS conditions of service of the fire service prohibits pregnancy within the first three years of employment.
The regulation states that “a female employee shall not be dismissed on the ground that she is pregnant provided she has served the first three years.”
But the court ordered the Fire Service to reinstate the two and compensate them with GH¢50,000 each.
Joseph Whittal in an interview with Obuoba News said the judgement was an indication to employers that in the exercising of their powers, they must stay within the constitution and not act in ways that infringe on the fundamental human rights of their employees.
“It means that being in a uniformed service does not take away your fundamental human rights which have been given to you by the constitution. It also means that the employers who have been given the decision making powers, must stay within the constitutional mandate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, suggested that the Fire Service revises its regulations since the regulation that formed the basis for its decision to dismiss the two staff “is discriminatory in effect, unjustifiable, illegitimate and illegal.”