what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Safety of pregnant and breastfeeding workers

Pregnancy and child-bearing can lead to unwanted reductions in women's participation in professional life, especially when their rights as workers are inadequately protected.

So the risk of women involuntarily dropping out of the labour market remains high in many European countries.

This comes at a cost, not only to the women concerned, but also to society as a whole.

In a bid to keep women in the labour market and achieve a better work-life balance, the Commission proposed revising the Maternity Leave Directive to strengthen the rights of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that paid maternity leave can make an important contribution towards giving women more choice and often keeping them in the labour market.

We advocate the broadest possible scope for the Directive, so that it includes all kinds of professions, including domestic workers.

Ideally, women should be granted 24 weeks of maternity leave, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Fathers, too, should have the option of dedicating more time to their new-born children. We therefore also support paid paternity leave.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens supported the position of S&D MEP Edite Estrela, who is Parliament's rapporteur on the Directive.

Parliament called for 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, for the last four weeks of which the mother should receive at least 75% of her last monthly salary, and two weeks of paid paternity leave.

The duration of maternity leave proved controversial, but was ultimately adopted.


Which points did the Greens lose?

Up to now, the Greens and Parliament as a whole have been unable to convince the Council to adopt Parliament's position.

Especially Germany and the United Kingdom oppose these improvements and are still blocking this important dossier in the Council.

Press & Events

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:Edite Estrela (S&D)

Green MEP responsible:Jill Evans


Staff contact:Elisabeth Horstkoetter (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?