PR04/08/09 PN Government opportunistic on Parental Leave - AD
- PR04/08/09 PN Government opportunistic on Parental Leave - AD
Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party expressed its opposition to Government's objection to the immediate introduction of extended parental leave, which is being proposed by the European Commission.
Michael Briguglio, spokesperson for Social and Economic Development, said:'There is a substantial contrast between the Nationalist Government's pro-family rhetoric and its opposing the reinforcement of family-friendly measures which are being proposed within the EU. Malta is at the bottom of the European list on various social policies. For example, it grants the lowest parental leave entitlement in the European Union, and the Nationalist Government is scaremongering against the introduction of an extension of maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks'.
'Extended parental leave is essential for increased social justice, particularly in a time when work conditions are progressively getting worse, particularly in the private sector. This basic right not only encourages women to enter the labour market, but can also bring about more equality within families, where both men and women are involved in employment and caring roles, and where families have more time to spend with their newborns', added Briguglio.
Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer, spokesperson for Civil Rights, added:'Before the European Parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that Malta is in favour of extended maternity leave provided that there will be a level playing field. Now it transpires that this was just an opportunistic slogan, as Social Policy Minsiter John Dalli was reported by the Times as telling his European Counterparts that 'we not feel it is opportune to take certain measures, including the extension of maternity leave with immediate effect'.
'Family policy should not be subject to opportunistic electioneering. To the contrary, Government should immediately increase parental leave, which is a basic social right, and in the meantime tap EU set up a fund to offset partially expenses incurred by employers', added Arqueros Ebejer.