The DGB demands better maternity protection: standards of the International Labor Organization must also apply to the European Union.
"We call on German parliamentarians in the European Parliament to use their votes to help better maternity leave break through: They should join the call to extend maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks," deputy DGB chairwoman Ingrid Sehrbrock said on Monday in Berlin, on the occasion of the upcoming vote in the European Parliament to revise the Maternity Protection Directive. The current amendments by the Employment Committee to an 18-week maternity leave are a correct and necessary compromise that supports the EU Commission's proposal.
“If the adjustment does not work now, the topic is put on the back burner. That is irresponsible, ”said Ingrid Sehrbrock. A protection period of 18 weeks corresponds to the norm of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, which has been in force since 2000. With this step, Europe would finally make the necessary adjustment to this minimum standard. Such an expansion would only have an impact in a few European countries, as the deadlines in many countries are already longer than 14 weeks (e.g. Spain, France). Germany would be directly affected and would have to raise its deadlines by four weeks. The DGB assumes that the national implementation of this new standard would take place in conjunction with the pay-as-you-go financing in Germany and thus would not result in any financial deterioration for women.
“In times of intense controversy about demographic change, improved maternity protection in Europe is a clear sign of social and labor law progress in Europe, which must be connected with the strengthening of the partnership-based division of working and family time in families. The revision of the European parental leave, which was carried out last year, offers ample opportunity to bring these aspects into line with one another in the national implementation, ”Ingrid Sehrbrock continues. The last DGB federal congress in May 2010 had clearly positioned itself in this spirit after engaging discussions. (pm, Oct 18, 2010)