Work-life balance is a priority – AD

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Maternity leaveAD MEP candidates handed out flowers to mothers on the occasion of Mothers Day. They also addressed a press conference about putting words into action, with reference to the government’s resistance to proposals to increase the minimum maternity leave period.

On the 6th of May the conservative EPP-ED group (supported by ALDE) in the European Parliament successfully postponed a vote on the Estrela report, which relates to maternity and paternity leave, as well as improved protection against workplace discrimination for working mothers. The report was previously adopted by Parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee.

Arnold Cassola, AD Chairperson and MEP candidate said, “Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament apparently don’t think it is a priority to support mothers and fathers and address their difficulties in reconciling work and family responsibilities. Given that Conservatives in particular like to preach family values, they did not want to vote on the Estrela report on health and safety measures for pregnant workers and for working mothers who have recently given birth. Perhaps their voting position would simply be too embarrassing in the spotlight of the current European election campaign.”

Prof Cassola added that for Alternattiva Demokratika the harmonization of a respectable minimum maternity leave period throughout the EU and for Maltese and Gozitan mothers in line with recommendations by the ILO and WHO is a very important issue. “It is a practical way to put rhetoric into practice. The Estrela report recommends 24 weeks of maternity leave. Maternity leave in Malta is 14 weeks, one of the lowest periods in the EU. Contrary to perceptions an increase in the maternity leave period together with measures to help SMEs will increase and encourage women to take up employment. Our government, once again, is one of the countries in the EU opposing such a positive proposal. I hope that voters will be aware of where the political groups truly stand on family issues when they go to the polls next month.”

AD MEP candidate Yvonne Ebejer Arqueros said, “An AD MEP will promote policies against insecure job contracts, precarious work and exploitation which are affecting various categories of workers, including young, ageing, female workers and workers with family responsibilities. We mean what we say and will promote policies for more female participation in employment. This requires social policies which promote the work-life balance, where men and women actively participate in both employment as well as in family life and caring roles”.”

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