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Labour and Green MEPs reduce women's choice and employment prospects

Friday, 5th February 2010

East Midlands Conservative MEPs are extremely concerned by Labour and Green Party MEPs’ amendments to an EU directive on health and pregnant women.

MEPs Roger Helmer and Emma McClarkin believe that in these amendments the fundamental issue of a woman’s right to choose when she wants to take time off work before and after giving birth is at risk.

Mr Helmer comments from Brussels,

‘These amendments are completely unnecessary. I believe in freedom of the individual. A woman should not be stopped by the EU from making a decision that is right for her, and her child.’

The original directive of the Women’s Committee in the European Parliament was examining which health and safety considerations should be given to post-natal women such as making allowances for breast feeding for six months.

Emma McClarkin states:

‘The original directive which focussed on issues of health and safety would have benefitted pregnant working women.

‘Now these positive measures are at risk by implementing new and damaging amendments.

‘It is unbelievable that Labour and Greens are willing to jeopardise the future employment prospects of women. I fear that if their proposals are adopted then employers would consider a job offer on the basis of a woman’s age and perceived maternity intentions.’

Roger Helmer and Emma McClarkin, along with their Conservative colleagues, will be fighting to reject the amendments and return to the original form of the EU directive on pregnant women.