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Longer maternity leave eyed in EU to boost birth rates, good or bad idea?

The minimum maternity leave in European Union countries would be raised by six weeks to a total of 20 in a proposal by EU lawmakers Wednesday designed to boost flagging birth rates.

The move, which extends a proposal by the EU executive to raise the mandatory time off for new mothers to 18 weeks with full pay, could meet strong resistance from some EU governments and businesses.

Some EU governments, notably economic powerhouse Germany, may be reluctant to back the plan in the face of shorter-term budget austerity measures needed to ensure recovery from recession in Europe.

But economists say Europe's aging population is a financial time bomb that could damage economic growth rates in coming decades unless there are more young people to help foot the bill.

EU projections show the number of elderly people will almost double in the next 50 years, straining health care and pension budgets.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 2:21 PM on Oct. 20, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Honestly, the accommodations in place for maternity leave are already pretty excellent (especially when compared to over here), so I don't think tagging on an extra couple of weeks will make much of a difference. I was born and raised there, and most of my classmates (who are now around 39-40 years old), have either one child, or no children. People definitely don't tend to have kids early on in life, that's for sure. They much prefer to travel the world, expand their horizons, "play around", so to speak. Kids are something they don't even consider till well into their 30's, if at all.

    Answer by Anouck at 2:29 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • Who the heck is voting everyone down? If you have a response, please share it instead of being passive-aggressive about it.

    Answer by twin_mommy at 7:14 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • Very interesting. I wonder why they are not reproducing? Perhaps they are fiscally responsible, and aren't flooding their continent with offspring they cannot afford.

    Answer by twin_mommy at 2:25 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • I can see where it could have some repercussions.....employers would not only have to pay the new mom her salary but would have to hire someone to fill that position, pay them too and take time to train that person. Then about the time the new hire gets efficient at the job, they have to leave so the on-leave new mom can return. So the extra time training someone was really for nothing and of course that temporary person then has to go look for another job, and hopefull find one that won't end in 20 weeks. I certainly don't have any answers but I can see why employers would vote against it....

    Answer by meriana at 5:36 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • Not real sure WHY merina would get voted down for that one. It's true. Look when you CHOOSE to have children there are certain sacrifices you have to make. If you choose, or have to, go back to work you have to understand the employers point of view. Because here's what will happen....The employer will lose so much money an efficiency on the deal they will hirer FEWER PEOPLE. Merina makes VERY good points!


    Answer by momof030404 at 6:23 PM on Oct. 20, 2010


    Europe needs more children to safeguard its economic future," Edite Estrela, a socialist member of the Ep from Portugal, said.

    EU governments will discuss the proposal in the coming months and will likely vote on it next year, but Germany has already hinted it could oppose it.


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:22 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • Constanze Krehl, a German lawmaker from the socialist group in the European Parliament, said the extension would be "strong disadvantage to women in the labor market."

    Under parliament's proposal, workers on maternity leave must be paid their full salary, equal to their last monthly payment or their average monthly pay.

    Countries that offer workers family-related leave would have some flexibility in how they implement it.


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:22 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • What country are you from? Is CM international?



    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:26 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • twin mommy,

    I can't imagine two things..

    1) government involved in family planning

    2) If I cant afford it, a few extra weeks aren't gonna cut it...


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 2:27 PM on Oct. 20, 2010

  • So they want to make more babies to pay for the senior's retirement? And the incentive is a couple more weeks off after you give birth?

    Yeah, that's some bullshit.

    Answer by lovinangels at 3:20 PM on Oct. 20, 2010