EU ministers reject ‘unaffordable’ maternity laws

Deputy Editor
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The European parliament has turned town proposals to extend maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks.

The proposals to amend the Pregnant Workers Directive would have allowed new mothers to take 20 weeks maternity leave on full pay. However, ministers said they went “too far” and that the terms were “not a basis for negotiation”, commented Belgian employment minister Joelle Milquet, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

The UK currently allows new mothers to take six weeks maternity leave at 90% of their full wage, followed by 33 weeks pay at £124.88 a week.

British ministers said the new plans were impractical and would more than double its maternity leave costs to £2.4bn a year.

Edward Davey, minister for employment relations, told...

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