EU - Commission's proposal on longer and better maternity leave aims at improved work-life balance

Millions of women throughout Europe will be entitled to longer and better paid
maternity leave under proposals unveiled in October 2008 by the European

A separate proposal would also improve the situation of self-employed women by
providing equivalent access to maternity leave, on a voluntary basis. The two
initiatives form part of a package of measures to improve work-life balance for
all Europeans both women and men. They aim to update and improve existing EU
legislation and will now be sent to the European Parliament and national
governments for discussion. Meanwhile, the European social partners have
launched negotiations to improve other forms of family leave, such as parental

"Juggling work, family and private life is a huge challenge for millions of
Europeans, male and female," said Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs
and Equal Opportunities, Vladimr pidla. "But having children too often costs
women their income and their job prospects. Only 62% of women with dependent
children are in work, compared to 91% of men. Our proposals to improve
maternity leave will help women to combine work and family and also hold out
benefits for men and families as a whole."

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AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at work