24 March 2017
UK workers receive some of the worst maternity packages in Europe, according to new research from the TUC.
Britain ranks 22nd out of 24 European countries that offer statutory maternity leave, with new Mums entitled to just six weeks of decently-paid time off compared with three months or more in most of the other nations.
Only Ireland and Slovakia offer female workers a worse deal, where women do not receive decently-paid leave at all.
The best deal went to Croatian women, who are entitled to six months of decently-paid leave. In Poland, Hungry and the Czech Republic this is four months; and in Estonia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Malta and Switzerland it is three – double what is on offer in the UK.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK is in the relegation zone when it comes to decently-paid maternity leave.
“Many European countries offer decent support to new mums. But lots of parents here are forced back to work early to pay the bills.
“My advice to all new mums is to join a union. It is the best way to improve your pay and conditions.”
Director of Maternity Action Ros Bragg said: “Without adequate maternity pay, women’s choices are limited and many cannot afford to take their leave entitlements. We should be investing in support for pregnant women and new families.”
The Institute of Employment Rights proposes in our Manifesto for Labour Law that statutory maternity packages should be improved to six months of full pay, parents should be able to take career breaks with a right to return to work of up to five years to care for children, and that provisions must be made for flexible working to allow parents to re-enter the workforce.
The Manifesto for Labour Law includes 25 recommendations for the comprehensive reform of labour law, the principles of which have been adopted by the Labour Party. Click here to read more about purchase your copy