The EC can Introduce Additional 4 Months of Parental Leave
The idea of introducing an additional 4-month parental leave will be discussed on 15 March during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of Europe, Nova TV reported. The change could become part of the better work-life balance directive.
The proposal is for both mothers and fathers to be entitled to a total of 4 months paid leave to be used in parts until the child reaches the age of 12. The idea is that the new leave can be used during summer vacations or if the child is ill. Additional days will lead to more flexible working hours and fewer sickness leaeves, say the social office.
"In many cases, finance ministers are against, the social ones are in favour."
"The concerns even in large countries such as France and Germany are that this legislative initiative generates a lot of financial commitments for the budget," said Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Zornitsa Rusinova. In addition, Bulgaria has the longest maternity leave - 52 weeks of high paid and even additional lower compensation, as opposed to a number of EU countries where less than 10 weeks of paid leave are given for childbirth and child raising.
It is expected that the compromise in Bulgaria will still be achieved, but the leave may be shortened to two or three months. Long absence from work leads to the dequalification of mothers, and hence to lower wages and lower pensions, according to employers.
"We would suggest, if such a directive is adopted, that these new 2 or 3 or 4 months leave are included, instead of two additional years" commented Vasil Velev, chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association.
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