EWL News

2 years overdue - EWL and ETUC jointly launch an urgent call for European leaders to adopt the revised Maternity Leave Directive

[Brussels, 28 November 2012] EWL and ETUC (European Trade Unions Confederation) sent a common letter to the EU heads of State to unlock the negotiations on the revision of the Pregnant Workers’ Directive. Indeed, two years have passed since the European Parliament adopted its first reading position and no response from the Council of the EU followed. Today, we call the European leaders to take a position in the frame of the next European Council in December. It is urgent to reach a compromise to adopt this project.

We believe that this revised directive will be an essential step ahead for mothers for their conciliation of private and professional life. Women’s employment rate decrease by 12.4% when they become mothers, and men’s rises by 7.3%. Such inequalities have long term consequences on women’s earnings, quality of life and pensions. This revised directive will have significant impact for eliminating the gender pay gap, increasing women’s access to the labor market, improving social inclusion, reducing poverty, improving children’s early years and life chances.

EWL and ETUC focus their support on two particular issues:

  • Full pay: we have to ensure full salary or equivalent for women during their maternity leave. This issue is fully linked to the gender pay gap and the gender pension gap ones. The full remuneration or equivalent will mean that women will continue to pay taxes and social contributions.
  • Protection against discrimination: we support a provision of six months of protection against unfair dismissal after return to work of mothers. Discriminatory practices against young mothers are still high on the workplace and there is today an urgent need to strengthen the protection of women during their pregnancy and return to work.

You will find the common letter attached here.

This joint letter is the first step of the new EWL campaign “2 years overdue” which aims at calling European leaders to unlock the negotiations of the revised directive and to fasten its adoption.

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