'Costly' maternity leave proposals critiscised

Proposed changes to employment law that would see fully paid maternity leave increased to 20 weeks have faced criticism from employment minister Chris Grayling.

The government is concerned that the Pregnant Workers Directive would lead to member states of the European Union being placed under undue financial pressure.

Mr Grayling explained: "The proposals that MEPs [members of European Parliament] put forward are costly for the UK.

"They are also socially regressive in that those that are earning the most will benefit the most from this."

He stressed that the government would continue to lobby against the proposals, as it has done since they were first put forward in October last year.

It recently emerged through a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research that many workers in the UK are currently unhappy with the pay gap that exists between the highest and lowest earners in their organisation.

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Published on: June 17, 2011

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