EU maternity and paternity protection policies at work
MATERNITY ANDPATERNITY PROTECTIONAT WORK IN THEEUROPEAN UNIONGender Practice,UNDP BRC
Table of contents Historical background: Development of the maternity protection at work in the EU law; Gender equality as a condition for the EU Membership; Current protection: At the European level, At the national level; Prospects and Expectations for the future: Identification of the weaknesses of the current framework, Proposals of the EU Commission and EU Parliament to reform the current system
Historical BackgroundDevelopment of the EU framework inrelation to the protection of Maternity andPaternity at work
Historical Background Gender equality: Always been a focus of the EU, In the 90s: Adoption of several instruments to protect more specifically maternity and parenthood at work: Directive 92/85: Regulation on Maternity Leave (Health and Safety Regulation to protect pregnant workers in the work environment); Directive 96/34: Regulation on Parental Leave (3 months max., Prohibition to discriminate on this basis, Right to return to the same or equivalent job, BUT no remuneration guaranteed during the leave and maintains gender stereotypes).
Gender equality as a conditionfor EU membership
Gender Equality as a conditionfor EU Membership To access the EU, any European country must meet: Political conditions, Economic conditions, Respect for the acquis communautaire, which comprises: Content of the EU treaties, And the content of all the EU legislation. => The regulation on the protection of parenthood at work will have to be respected and included in the national laws of the EU candidate country. HOWEVER, some exceptions might exceptionnally be
Current EU FrameworkCurrent legislation at the EU LevelCurrent legislation at the national level
Current Protection at the EUlevel Directive 92/85: Maternity Protection: General provisions on the protection of maternity and pregnancy in the work environment; Health and safety requirements to secure the workplace for pregnant workers; Maternity Leave: Length: Up to 14 weeks; Compulsory part: 2 weeks to be taken after the birth; Compensation: At least in the same way than during sick leave (as regulated by the Member States). No dismissal during pregnancy. Directive 76/2007: Right to return to the same or equivalent job after the leave.
Current Protection at the EUlevel Directive 2010/41 on Maternity leave for self- employed women: Maternity Leave: Length: 14 weeks in the same conditions than the ones for employees; Compensation: Member States may decide to grant an allowance or not.
Current Protection at the EUlevel Directive 2010/18: Parental Leave: Length: Extension from 3 to 4 months for each parent per child; Compulsory part: No; Compensation: Each Member State can decide to allow or not a compensation; Non-discrimnation and Right to return to the same or equivalent job.
Implementation at the NationalLevel As the Parenthood at work protection is regulated by Directives: the Member States have the obligation to attain the results asked by the Directives, but have the freedoms as to the ways to do so. Analysis of some national cases: Romania, Poland, Croatia (future EU Member from 1st January 2013), Montenegro (candidate country for EU accession).
Implementation at the Nationallevel - ROMANIA Maternity leave: Length: Up to 126 days, Compulsory part: 42 days after the birth, Compensation: 85% of the monthly gross revenue, paid by the Social Security Funds. Non-discrimination and Right to return to the same or equivalent job. Paternity leave: Length: 5 days + 10 days if attendance to childcare classes Compensation: 100%. Parental leave: Length: Up to 1 year (Before 2011: 2 years; reduced by the Romanian Government as a reponse to the economic crisis), Compensation: 75% of the mothly income with a minimum of 600 and a maximum of 3400 lei (between 132 and 755 €) per month.
Implementation at the Nationallevel - POLAND Maternity leave: Length: 20 weeks (more if twins, triplets, ...); Compulsory part: 14 weeks; Compensation: 100% of the average income for the 12 months prior to the birth, paid by the Social Security Office; Non-discrimination and Right to return to the same or equivalent job. Paternity leave: Length: 14 days (Before 2011: 7 days); Compulsory part: No; Compensation: 100% of the average income for the 12 months prior to the birth, paid by the Social Security Office. Parental leave: Length: Up to 3 years; Compensation: No.
Implementation at the Nationallevel- CROATIA Maternity leave: Length: Up to 6 months; Compulsory part: 28 days before the birth and 42 after the birth (after these 42 days, the father can take-up the leave if acceptance of the mother); Compensation: 100% of the insured monthly income, paid by the Croatian Health Institute. Paternity leave: No. Parental leave: Length: 90 days per parent and per child for the 1st and 2nd children, 900 days if multiple births and for every subsequent child; Extra 2 months allowed if the father takes his 90 days; Compensation: 100% of the average monthly income, but ceiling up to 80% of the budgetary base for the first 6 months.
Implementation at the Nationallevel: MONTENEGRO Maternity leave: Length: 365 days, Compulsory part: 28 days before the birth and 45 after the birth, Compensation: 100% of the average monthly income, paid by the employer, but fully refunded by the State, No dismissal during the leave but NO guarantee to return to the same or equivalent job. Paternity leave: No. Parental leave: Length: Up to 3 years, Compensation: No.
Prospects and Expectations forthe FutureIdentification of the weaknesses of the currentframeworkProposals of the EU Commission and EU Parliament toreform the current systemReactions of the Civil Society and the Member States tothese proposals
Weaknesses of the currentsystem Low take-up of the leave: Low take-up of the leave by mothers (for the non- compulsory part of their leave): Different factors can explain this: level of payment during the leave, very competititive market for young women, fear of being discriminated, etc. Very low take-up of the leave by fathers: E.g.: Around 2% of the fathers take the leave in Poland. Different factors can explain this: level of payment during the leave, societal culture, flexibility in the leave, labor market sector, level of education, etc. Perpretation of the gender stereotypes in relation with childcare and career.
Proposal of the EU Commission toreform the current system Proposal to reform the Directive 92/85: Extension of the length of the maternity leave: Up to 18 weeks, 6 of which must be obligatory after the birth; Compensation: 100% of a fully monthly income (to be determined in comparison to the last monthly salary paid before the leave OR based on an average to be calculated during a certain period, to the choice of the Member State), HOWEVER the Member State can decide to subject this compensation to a ceiling as long as it is not set below the compensation offered for sick leave; Right to return to the same or equivalent job; Flexibility on the working hours and conditions to adapt to the new family situation.
Proposal of the EU Parliament toreform the current system Proposal to reform the Directive 92/85: Extension of the length of the leave: Up to 20 weeks, 6 of which must be obligatory after the birth (the 14 remainings week can be shared with both parents); Compensation: 100% of a fully monthly income (to be determined in comparison to the last monthly salary paid before the leave OR based on an average to be calculated during a certain period, to the choice of the Member State); Right to return to the same or equivalent job; Creation of a fully paid paternity leave of 2 weeks.
Reactions of the Member Statesand civil society to these proposals These proposals face many criticisms: They would impose too many additional costs to companies in a context of already fragile companies; They would reduce the chances of women to be hired; They are perpetrating the gender stereotypes in relation to childcare and career and are over- emphasising the role of mothers, in comparison to the one of fathers. => They are currently frozen due to all these dissenssions.
ConclusionThe need for a compromiseThe need for redefining gender roles in the balancebetween childcare and career
Conclusion EU will have to find a balanced compromise betwen the financial sustainability of companies, the protection of workers and gender equality. The current framework preserves gender stereotypes (low take-up of leave for fathers e.g.) => NEED TO REDEFINE THE GENDER ROLES IN THE BALANCE BETWEEN CHILDCARE AND CAREER.
For more Information: Visit our Website: http://europeandcis.undp.org/ourwork/gender/ Or contact Nathalie Jottard, Gender Team Intern at email@example.com
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