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Maternity leave revisions continue to split EP and Council

In response to an enquiry about the lack of progress on the proposed extension to family friendly rights, including 20 weeks maternity leave on full pay, the Council’s Labour Minister has indicated that it will be difficult to move forward against a backdrop of a struggling world economy.

It has been a year since the European Parliament (EP) called for an extension to maternity leave to 20 weeks on full pay and Radosław Mleczko, Vice Minister for Labour and Social Policy, responded formally to a question from an EU MP asking why no progress has been made on revising the rules. He said it would be difficult to reach a compromise based on the EP’s amendments extending leave for mothers and also to fathers (2 weeks paternity leave with full pay), given the backdrop of a struggling world economy. He indicated that in the face of the crisis and solutions already in place the EU Council cannot accept 20 fully paid weeks of leave and encouraged the EP to reconsider its position. So for the moment, current legislation remains in force and the new proposals are frozen.

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