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Extended paternity and maternity rights put on hold

Extended paternity and maternity rights put on hold

A Government spokesperson has confirmed that the appropriateness of introducing extended paternity leave rights is being reviewed due to the current economic climate. At the same time, the European Parliament has voted against the proposals aimed to extend and strengthen maternity rights across the EU.


The Government is committed to implement its plans to allow fathers to take the second half of maternity leave as paternity leave, instead of the mother, and  to extend paid maternity leave to 12 months. Indications were that these rights might apply in respect of babies due to be born in April 2010 or later. However, a spokesperson for the then BERR (now BIS) confirmed that no date has been set for these changes, and that they are ‘continuing to review the appropriateness of all new regulations due to come into force in the current economic climate’. In other words, there may be a delay until 2011.


In last month’s newsletter we reported that the Government had launched a consultation in relation to the European Commission’s proposals to amend the Pregnant Workers Directive. However, those proposals will now have to be put on hold as the European Parliament has voted against measures aimed at extending and strengthening a number of maternity rights across the EU.


When the issue came before a full plenary session of the European Parliament for consideration, Astrid Lulling MEP suggested that the proposals should not be adopted, but be sent back to the European Parliament’s Employment Committee to be re-considered, as there was wide ranging disagreement over all of the proposed measures, and indeed, extreme hostility to some. MEPs agreed and the proposals have been sent back to the Committee for a full re-evaluation.

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Mob: 07870 942622

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