SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE THE MATERNITY LEAVE DIRECTIVE
More than 4 years ago, on 20 October 2010, the Maternity Leave Directive was successfully adopted by the European Parliament in first reading. It was then blocked in the Council with the excuse that the timing wasn’t right, due to the economic crisis. The European Commission threatened to withdraw the Directive in 2014 in the name of ‘red tape’, AS IF it wasn’t relevant anymore.
We invite you to make your voice heard to make sure that the Maternity Directive is back on the European political agenda again!
- 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
JOINT LETTER TO VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FRANS TIMMERMANS
Read the joint letter here below:
Brussels, 27 April 2015
Re: Call to maintain the “Maternity leave Directive” on the table
Dear Commissioner Timmermans,
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the European delegation of Make Mothers Matter (MMM), ILGA Europe, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), Social Platform, the European Youth Forum, the European Federation of Nurses (EFN) the European Disability Forum (EDF), the Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE) and SOLIDAR, representing millions of women and men throughout Europe are deeply concerned about the negative impact the withdrawal of the proposal to strengthen the Maternity Leave, would have on women throughout Europe.
We cannot understand that, in the name of “better regulation”, this particular piece of legislation that would strengthen women’s rights is under attack at a time when Europe needs women to have more children while not being penalised on the labour market.
We therefore call on you to reconsider your position and maintain the proposal on the table beyond June 2015 to give more time to the Council to resume negotiations with the European Parliament.
Considering the fact that the current Maternity Leave directive is from 1992, and that the labour market has changed substantially since then, a legislative revision is urgently needed to promote the participation of women in the workforce while allowing them to reconcile work and family life. We understand that an alternative proposal from the Commission would not provide a legislative framework and we believe it will not guarantee women’s rights, if this is the case.
While austerity measures have been cited as a reason to withdraw this directive, it should be seen as an investment, ensuring basic physical and emotional needs of children in Europe while keeping mothers on the labour market. Women represent 60% of graduates in higher education and can be a key lever for inclusive growth. However, only 63% of women in the EU are working, although the Europe 2020 strategy target employment rate is at 75%.
The revision of this directive is crucial to achieve this target and ensure the health and safety of women who continue to be discriminated on the labour market due to pregnancy and childbirth. At a time when a lack of trust currently exists between Europe’s citizens and the European institutions, if Europe is to reconnect with its citizens it needs to demonstrate that it is able to ensure rights, equality and justice for all. Adopting a stronger Maternity Directive would send a positive message to European citizens, especially women and show that European institutions are able to reach consensus on issues that matter to them in their daily lives.
For all these reasons, we urge you to keep the Maternity Leave Directive on the table in order to ensure mandatory minimum European standards to improve the health and safety of women before, during and after childbirth.
We believe this will show a genuine willingness to reconsider a very important issue for the millions of European citizens, who currently see their social rights weakening.
The European Women’s Lobby
The European delegation of Make Mothers Matter
The European Anti-Poverty Network
The European Youth Forum
The European Federation of Nurses
The European Disability Forum
The Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FRANS TIMMERMAN