Social Security

20 weeks off for Europe's future mums?

Published on 20 October 2010 at 11:22

The European Parliament is about to deliberate on a draft directive to extend minimum maternity leave in Europe from 14 to 20 weeks, but “there’s no dearth of naysayers,”reports Dagens Nyheter. According to the Swedish daily, the Union is not unanimously in favour of theproposed measure, which “would be costly, would not suit every country and would make it harder for young women to find work”. The cost would be significant, admits Dagens Nyheter, "But what will become of Europe if it isn’t possible to combine kids and work?[…] Most of the parties opposed to a common maternity leave are also trying to tighten up the bolts on the closed gates to Europe. But Europe needs children as well as immigrants.” Which is why "it is reasonable to have certain common rules on the job market”, including maternity leave, even if “the present proposal goes into way too much detail: a modicum of clear-cut rules would suffice. Too many complicated rules only play into the hands of populists.”

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