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Extended leave for parents15th of October 2010
The European Parliament's Equality Committee has adopted an amendment to the EU Pregnant Workers Directive that would raise the minimum maternity leave entitlement in EU member states to 20 weeks.
The proposal removes the mandatory leave period before the birth of the child and introduces a right for women returners to take two-hour breaks from work to breastfeed their child. It has been greeted with some consternation by organisations across the EU, who point out it could cost companies and social security systems billions in extra allowances.