Divisions of labour: Maternity protection in Europe

Busby, N. (2000) Divisions of labour: Maternity protection in Europe. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 22(3), pp. 277-294. (doi: 10.1080/01418030050130185)

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Incapacity for work on the grounds of pregnancy and birth-related illness has long proved problematic for the courts, resulting, on occasion, in lawful dismissal based on a comparison between the woman concerned and a sick male worker. The European Court of Justice has recently clarified the duration of the 'protected period'that lasts throughout pregnancy and the period of maternity leave, during which dismissal will be prohibited. However, the duration of leave provided by Member States differs, resulting in a wide degree of variation for such protection. Furthermore, where illness arises or persists following childbirth, women will continue to be vulnerable to dismissal. This article considers the impact of caselaw developments and examines the provision of maternity leave in Europe, which, contrary to the harmonization originally envisaged by the introduction of the Pregnant Workers Directive (92/85/EEC), appears to be subject to a high degree of variation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Busby, Professor Nicole
Authors: Busby, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
ISSN (Online):1469-9621

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