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Wednesday, 20 October 2010 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote

Text tabled : A7-0032/2010

  Maria do Céu Patrão Neves (PPE), in writing. (PT) I voted in favour of the proposals on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, which include 20 weeks maternity leave and two weeks paternity leave, both without any reduction in earnings.

These are social measures that fit with the Europe that we want, with the aim of supporting the birth rate, the family, the health of babies, and parents’ jobs.

However, this is a project that is difficult to carry out, and it may, perversely, exacerbate discrimination against women in the world of work because: (1) it puts extra pressure on social security systems, which, in many cases, are already only just sustainable; and (2) it introduces new constraints on the labour market, which already no longer meets the needs of the current workforce. I am afraid, therefore, that these measures to support working parents may lead to increased levels of unemployment and/or precarious work among young mothers.

Parliament’s negotiations with the Council have to be realistic and pragmatic, and also ambitious, if the future law, when it comes into force, is to really fulfil and promote the values of the proposal that was voted upon in plenary this week.

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