Woman’s Hour interview on Maternity Leave

Labour Party

I spoke this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about the EU’s Maternity Leave Directive which being voted on this week in Strasbourg. You can listen to it again here .

The Directive makes provisions for women to have fully paid maternity leave for 20 weeks, and for fathers to have two weeks paid paternity leave. It also addresses other issues to protect and ensure safety at work for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, including the prohibition of dismissal following the end of maternity leave to six months, and provisions on night work and overtime and adoption leave.

The vote is scheduled for Wednesday. I will be writing more as events unfold through what promises to be an exciting and interesting week.

3 thoughts on “Woman’s Hour interview on Maternity Leave

  1. Sorry but I was not convinced by your point. To be honest it looks like you retreated behind a clumsy excuse not to be labelled as supporting the “20 weeks”.

    I have the strange feeling that you’d have simply voted the proposition with your colleagues of the PES if the Murdoch press, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph were not running a scare campaign against it. It is a bit sad to think that instead of being the champions of progress in Europe, our MEPs may actually be scared to be the victims of negative campaigns from the British conservative press.

  2. Mary,

    Who will pay for this largesse? Another burden for employers voted in by people who don’t have to worry about their own employment.

    We’re cutting defence by 8% – let’s cut the EU levy by the same amount.


  3. o_O your calculation is wrong!

    You state in your Guardian article : “£124.88 per week for the next 33 weeks (standard rate, regardless of earnings)”

    The truth is: “33 weeks at the lower of either the standard rate of £124.88, or 90 per cent of your average gross weekly earnings” see http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Expectingorbringingupchildren/DG_10018741

    So the 20 weeks will make no difference for low paid women.

    I am actually amazed to read that your refusal of the 20 weeks is based on a calculation which is wrong!

Comments are closed.