UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Mixed outcome of the vote in the European Parliament on the Maternity Protection Directive‏

“Although we welcome stronger protection for pregnant workers and working mothers, we are disappointed that the vote in the European Parliament on the Maternity Protection Directive would not lead to a fully paid maternity leave in all Member States” said John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

The ETUC has been demanding fully paid maternity leave for at least 18 weeks, without any ceiling at national level. The Parliament voted in favour of extending maternity leave to 20 weeks, but the remuneration for the last four weeks would vary according to national legislation.

The maternity protection dossier will now pass on into the hands of the Council and the ETUC urges the Belgian Presidency to deal with this issue as a matter of priority. “Working mothers in Europe have been waiting a long time for an improvement of European maternity leave protection. The Council must ensure that they have not waited in vain”, said John Monks

The ETUC exists to speak with a single voice, on behalf of the common interests of workers, at European level. Founded in 1973, it now represents 82 trade union organisations in 36 European countries, plus 12 industry-based federations.