The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570 Message #4011781
Posted By: DMcG
03-Oct-19 - 05:04 PM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
I am reading "Invisible Women" which has recently won the Royal Society science book prize. There are many interesting observations, but this one is very relevant to our discussion.. The 70,71,72,73 are references which I have not copied here, but have left as evidence these statements are not just pulled out of the air:
British politicians like to boast (particularly in the run-up to the EU referendum) that the UK offers a 'more generous' maternity leave than the fourteen weeks mandated by the EU’s 1992 Pregnant Workers Directive. 69 This is technically true, but it doesn’t mean that women in the UK get a good deal in comparison to their European counterparts. The average length of paid maternity leave across the EU is twenty-two weeks. 70 This figure hides substantial regional variation in both pay and length. Croatia offers thirty weeks at full pay, compared to the UK’s offering of thirty-nine weeks at an average of 30% pay. In fact a 2017 analysis placed the UK twenty-second out of twenty-four European countries on the length of 'decently paid maternity leave' it offered its female workforce (1.4 months). And now that Britain is leaving the EU, the country is likely to fall even further below its European neighbours. Since 2008, the EU has been trying to extend its maternity-leave ruling to twenty weeks on full pay. This proposal was stuck in stalemate for years, and finally abandoned in 2015 thanks in no small part to the UK and its business lobby, which campaigned strenuously against it. 72 Without the UK, the women of the EU will be free to benefit from this more progressive leave allowance. Meanwhile Martin Callanan (now a Brexit minister) made a speech to the European Parliament in 2012 in which he included the Pregnant Workers Directive in his list of the 'barriers to actually employing people' which 'we could scrap'. 73
Perez, Caroline Criado. Invisible Women (pp. 79-80). Random House. Kindle Edition.