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Parliamentary questions
30 November 2007
E-5052/2007
Answer given by Mr Špidla on behalf of the Commission

Article 10 point 1 of Council Directive 92/85/EEC(1) establishes the general prohibition of dismissal of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding during the period from the beginning of their pregnancy to the end of the maternity leave, irrespective of the type or duration of the employment contract or relationship.

Article 10 paragraph 1 provides for derogations in exceptional cases not connected with the condition of being pregnant, having recently given birth or breastfeeding. In such cases, a dismissal could be permitted under national law and/or practice if two conditions are met: the employer has to give substantiated grounds for her dismissal in writing and, if relevant, the competent authority must give its consent (cf. Article 10, points 1 and 2).

Council Directive 92/85/EEC is the 10th individual directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Framework Directive 89/391/EEC(2). The concept of ‘worker’ for the purpose of Council Directive 92/85/EEC is defined in Article 3 (a) of Council Directive 89/391/EEC as ‘any person employed by an employer, including trainees and apprentices but excluding domestic servants’. The Commission therefore considers that Council Directive 92/85/EEC applies to pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding during probation periods.

The Commission is currently in the process of monitoring the transposition of Council Directive 92/85/EEC in the new Member States. The Commission will take the information provided by the Honourable Member into account in the monitoring of the Maltese legislation.

(1)Council Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 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, OJ L 348, 28.11.1992.
(2)Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.

OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 10 January 2008Legal notice