4 years overdue!

4 years overdue

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In the beginning of the Summer of 2014, the European Commission threatened to withdraw the Directive in 2014 in the name of ‘red tape’.

With the forthcoming hearings for the new European Commission, the EWL and its members will seize the opportunity to get the maternity leave directive back on the political agenda.

As the Commission has an appointed Commissioner on gender equality we now call upon her to take action.

We invite everyone to make their voice heard to make sure that the Maternity Directive is back on the European political agenda!

Women continue to earn 16% on average less than men and it is often at the moment of childbirth that the gender pay gap kicks in, with life- long often irreversible consequences, including the fact that women receive on average 40% less pension than men. Despite existing laws that protect pregnant workers, we know that more and more women today are experiencing discrimination in the work place as a direct result of pregnancy and/or birth. This is why it is urgent to strengthen the rights and protection of women during pregnancy and on return to work.

“The threat to remove the Maternity Leave Directive from the legislative process is serious and undermines the democratic process of the European Parliament’s adopted position. This negates Europe’s rhetoric on its commitment to gender equality and effective work-life balance for women and men in Europe”, states Joanna Maycock.


  • We call on the new Commission to keep the Maternity Leave Directive on the agenda
  • We call on the European Parliament to maintain its position, adopted by an overwhelming majority in 2010
  • We call on the Council and the Member States to engage and move forward in negotiating with the European Parliament, to make their official position known, to support a robust Maternity Leave Directive to ensure that all women in Europe have equal rights

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