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European Union

Sweden not happy over new EU decision

Published onsdag 20 oktober 2010 kl 17.41
Birgitta Ohlsson, Sweden's EU minister.

The Swedish government has criticized the European Union’s new rules on maternity leave. The European Parliament voted in favour of the proposal to guarantee women a 20-week long maternity leave with full pay.

But according to Swedish EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson the Swedish government is not happy with the decision.

“Mainly because we don’t think that these kinds of issues should be decided in Brussels but rather in the Swedish parliament. But we also think this will have a negative effect on Swedish equality,” Ohlsson told Swedish Radio news. “We shouldn’t have to compromise our equality for a proposal that we don’t think is good enough.”

The new rules guarantees women 20 weeks off after having a child while the father only gets two weeks. The European Parliament also decided to make it mandatory for women to stay at home for the first six weeks after giving birth.

If the EU’s Council of Ministers also votes in favour of the proposal it will also effect Swedish women since it guarantees full salary for the 20 weeks regardless of how much the woman earns.

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