UK to say no to 20 weeks’ maternity leave at full pay

Government set to disagree with European proposals to extend the period of fully paid maternity leave

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The Government looks ready to block European Parliament plans to set up a minimum of 20 weeks’ maternity leave at full pay and two weeks paternity leave at full pay, which are to be voted on this week.

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Conservative MEPs are preparing to vote against the plans, and Coalition ministers are also rumoured to be worried about the effect the proposed legislation could have on Britain, reports the Telegraph.

The proposed plans would see fully paid maternity leave go up to 20 weeks. Currently in the UK, we can take 52 weeks’ maternity leave. We get up to 90% of our average weekly pay for the first six weeks, and the following 33 weeks receive Statutory Maternity Pay, which is £124.88 a week. Dads get up to two weeks’ paternity lave, at a minimum of £124 for each week.

The UK’s opposition to the proposals is down to two main concerns. Firstly, it’s feared the plans could cost the Government and businesses more than £2.5billion a year. Secondly, there are concerns that some companies could start rejecting female job applicants.

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What do you think? Is 20 weeks’ fully paid leave a great idea, or do you think it’d stop potential employers from hiring you?

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