Rosie Dodds, NCT Senior Public Policy Officer, commenting on the NCT response to EU Directive amendments passed 20/10/2010 in the European parliament, says;
“NCT welcomes the European parliament support for 20 weeks fully paid maternity leave, paid paternity leave, breastfeeding breaks for mothers at work and other amendments.
Paid leave enables people to stay off work to look after their baby - research shows it is associated with less depression in mothers and better health for babies.
Maternity and paternity leave payments currently lag behind minimum wage and create a situation whereby time off to care for young children is not available to those with few resources to rely on. This results in many mothers in low paid jobs returning to work earlier than they might wish to, in order to increase the family’s income.
We hope families will lobby the UK government to support these measures at the Council of Ministers so that parents can benefit. Most European countries already have breastfeeding breaks - this is the best chance of a clear right to breaks in the UK.”