EU proposals to increase maternity leave to 20 weeks at full pay go to the vote later this week but Britain is expected to attempt to block the plans. UK business groups have voiced their concerns about the plans, fearing they will harm small businesses and ultimately backfire on women.
At the moment, new mums are able to claim 90% of their pay for just the first six weeks of their maternity leave. The British Chamber of Commerce said last month that the plans were unaffordable and would further damage the fragile UK economy.
There are also fears that the plans could prevent women entering the workplace as employers may avoid female candidates of childbearing age. “These proposals are going to cost small businesses and our public services billions of pounds and lead to further indirect discrimination against women in the workplace,” said British Conservative MEP, Marina Yannakoudakis.
On the other hand, family groups have claimed that the development of family rights and flexible working for parents should not be stifled because of a temporary economic downturn. These parents are taking care of the future generation after all!
Members of the European Parliament will take their vote later this week. We’d love to know what you think of the plans.