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Defending maternity rights for women

The Maternity Leave Directive, which was adopted by the European parliament in 2010, has been withdrawn entirely by the European Commission in a move made behind closed doors on July 15 in Brussels.

The Commission has effectively buried the proposal under the guise of its REFIT agenda to slim down legislation.

Over the past four years certain member states consistently blocked the directive which aimed to guarantee working women across the EU paid maternity leave for 20 weeks, as well as make sure women are protected after they return to work.

The idea that maternity leave is being sacrificed to the REFIT agenda because it is not efficient is an affront to the rights of women everywhere. Maternity rights are part of the equality agenda.

Reconciliation of work and family life is still a concern for many working people, and this directive provides part of the necessary support that families need. Strengthening maternity rights is just one way to combat the ageing societies that we are now faced with all over Europe.

Will our MEP’s do anything?

Paul Doran

27 Monastery Walk




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