The new EU Directive on Maternity and Paternity leave
By 2 August 2002, all 27 EU countries should implement the European Directive on maternity and parental leave to all workers, respecting minimum standards and without exception. To date, only 5 Countries transposed in national law the new Directive on Maternity and Paternity leave.
Mothers or parents equivalent to birth or adoption must be granted at least 4 months of leave. Of these, at least 2 months must be paid. 2 months can also be transferred to the second parent.
Fathers or second parents must be granted 10 days of leave, paid as if they were on sick leave.
The new Directive also recognises a minimal role for carers, although the legislator has not accepted the European Commission’s proposal to allow them more time to assist people with permanent illnesses or disabilities. In fact, only 5 days of leave are allowed per year.
To date, only 5 countries are in order, having already transferred the new rights recognized to workers into their national law. The other 22 countries still have 1 month to comply. Then the EU sanctions could arrive, which will hit the member countries that have not implemented the Directive.