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2 sacked pregnant Fire Service women reinstated

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has reinstated two Fire Servicewomen who were dismissed for getting pregnant within the first three years of their employment.

Ghana Fire Service

The two, Grace Fosu and Thelma Hammond, after years of legal battle, have been called back to the service.

This comes when the High Court threw out an appeal by the Attorney-General (A-G) against the GH¢50,000 costs awarded to either woman in April 2018 and a stay of execution.

A letter by the Chief Fire Officer, Edwin Blackson, to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) stated that the two fire women "have been reinstated into the service with immediate effect".

The letter, dated March 13, 2019, accordingly, directed the two women to report to the Greater Accra Regional Fire Officer for reassignment.

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It further added that the necessary "arrangements are being made to effect the payment of their entitlements".

Dismissal

In 2013, two female personnel whose appointments were confirmed on June 1, 2012, in a letter signed by Ag. Chief Fire Officer, Brigadier General J.B.E Guyiri, and copied to the Regional Fire Officer, Director of Accounts and Administration (Records & Statistics) after passing through a stipulated six-month training and another six months of probation, were issued dismissal letters on June 14, 2013.

The said letter, partly read: You were recruited into the service on the 1st of August, 2011. You were supposed to serve for six months after passing out and be confirmed.

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As stated in the Conditions of Service, you are expected to serve the first three years before you could get pregnant.

However, "you violated the said Condition of Service. You are hereby dismissed from the Service with immediate effect".

However, in a landmark judgment, the court declared as unlawful Regulation 33 (6) of the Conditions of Service of the GNFS that debars servicewomen from getting pregnant within the first three years of their employment.

"Regulation 33 (6) of the Conditions of Service of the GNFS is discriminatory in effect, unjustifiable, illegitimate and illegal," the court, presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah, a justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as a High Court judge, held.

Apart from the compensation, the court also ordered the GNFS to reinstate Ms Grace Fosu and Ms Thelma Hammond, the two women, and also pay them all their salaries and benefits that had accrued during the period of their dismissal.

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It further awarded costs of GH¢10,000 against the GNFS.

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