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Europe says yes to 20 weeks of maternity leave

Europe says yes to 20 weeks of maternity leave

It has always seemed to me a paradox that mothers have to incorporate at 16 weeks having given birth to our workplace, without being able to complete the exclusive breastfeeding period of 6 months recommended by the WHO for all babies. What's more, it would be more fair.

To try to amend this nonsense, the European Parliament has just supported the extension of the minimum maternity leave of 14 weeks, in some EU countries, to 20 with 100 percent of salary. Also, if this legislation is passed, dismissal will not be considered appropriate of a working mother from the beginning of her pregnancy until at least six months after the end of maternity leave.

If this extension were to be successful, a Spanish mother could stay at home with her baby for a total of 24 weeks, that is, the six months recommended by the WHO of exclusive breastfeeding, if she manages to add to the new 20 weeks of maternity leave, the 4 weeks of her vacation month, or she resorts to adding her breastfeeding hours to convert them into days of leave. However, these resources are still challenging possibilities in many jobs and businesses today. We still do not know when we will see it and enjoy it in Spain because the most difficult thing now is, on the one hand, to harmonize the disparate laws of the EU, where the rights of mothers vary from the 6 weeks of Germany, Malta or the United Kingdom downwards maternity nursery lasting 96 weeks. And, on the other, to approve in these hard times of crisis an extra expense to help families, which in the Spanish case would cost between 284 and 988 million euros per year, according to a community report. Marisol New.

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