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Maternity leave

Shelving key law reform proposal would be an affront to democratic process

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission not to proceed with its plan to withdraw draft EU legislation on maternity leave. Commenting after the vote, Green women's rights spokesperson Monika Vana said:

"MEPs have today called on the Commission to have an eleventh hour rethink and back down on its plan to withdraw the draft legislation on maternity leave. The European Parliament has had a clear position on the legislation since its vote in 2010; that EU governments have failed to respond to this is in itself an insult but for the Commission to withdraw draft legislation after it has been voted on by the European Parliament would be an affront to the EU's democratic process. Instead, the Commission should be joining with the Parliament to properly exert pressure on EU governments in Council."

Green women's rights spokesperson Ernest Urtasun added:

"The withdrawal of this crucial legislative reform would be a blow to mothers and fathers, whose health and welfare these proposals were aimed at strengthening. This much-needed and delayed review was aimed to bring EU rules on maternity leave towards the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. To this end, the European Parliament voted to increase the current minimum guaranteed maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks fully paid and for the mandatory right to paternity leave for fathers. We believe the Commission's original proposals and the Parliament's vote should be respected. To this end, we will fight to ensure these crucial proposals are not shelved and if the directive is finally withdrawn we will explore the possibility of challenging the decision before the European Court of Justice."

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