Pregnant Workers Directive lobbied against by
Employment Law & HR update - 20/6/2011
Employment Minister Chris Grayling is scheduled to attend a
meeting in Brussels today outlining the Pregnant Workers
The meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and
Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will give an update on the
directive and detail the UK's opposition to it.
The UK government feels that the 20 weeks of maternity leave at
full pay proposed last year will cost member states dearly. It has
been estimated that the proposals - put forward by the Women’s
Rights and Gender Equality and Employment Committee - would cost
the UK more than £2 billion annually. The directive's proposals
have also been described as 'socially regressive' by some
Chris Grayling said, “The proposals that MEPs put forward are
costly for the UK. They are also socially regressive in that those
that are earning the most will benefit the most from this.
“When Member States are trying to balance their books in
difficult times this is the wrong approach to adopt. Other
Ministers and I will continue to lobby against these measures as we
have done since October,” he added.
The proposals have now reached EPSCO and will be considered by
representatives of the 27 EU member states, following the agreement
made by the European Parliament in October last year.