New maternity leave proposals backed by European Parliament

  • Posted

Posted 21/10/2010

The majority of the European Parliament has backed draft proposals that would see maternity leave extended.

Currently, British employers are required under employment law to pay pregnant women six weeks’ salary at 90 per cent of their average earnings, with 33 weeks’ statutory pay at £125 per week thereafter.

However, plans are being considered that would see women entitled to 20 weeks on full pay and the European Parliament has voted in favour on this potential change to legislation.

The Trades Union Congress has applauded the news, arguing that it could result in more women returning to work after childbirth, but business leaders have called the proposals “ludicrous and unwelcome”, Personnel Today reports.

Employment law expert Philip Henson said: “I fear that the new law could usher in a return to the shadowy days when some employers were reluctant to employ young women.”

Under new employment law announced in January, new fathers now have the right to six months’ paternity leave when the mother of their child returns to work.


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