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EU grants self-employed maternity and pension rights

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As part of a pledge to improve female entrepreneurship, self-employed workers are set to gain maternity and pension benefits under new proposals outlined by the European Union.

The legal provision will grant self-employed workers and their partners better social protection, including the right to maternity leave for the first time. The Directive on self-employed workers and their ‘assisting spouses will grant a maternity allowance and a leave of at least 14 weeks, should they choose to take it.

Assistant spouses and life partners of self-employed workers will also have the right to social security coverage (such as pensions) on as equal a basis as formal self-employed workers, if a member state offers such protection.

In May 2009, the European Parliament called for stronger social protection of self-employed workers and their assisting spouses. Now, one year later, the legal development has finally been approved following consultation with EU member states and the Council of the European Union.

Currently, the EU estimates that 16% of the working population in Europe are self-employed, with many relying on the help of spouses and partners who work on an informal basis in small family businesses.

It is hoped that the new rules will encourage entrepreneurship in general and among women in particular, as only 30% of entrepreneurs in Europe are currently female.

However, member states will have two years to transpose these new provisions to their respective national legal systems or reject them, meaning by August 5th 2012, those EU states which have conformed will grant the new social protections.

Member states may also decide whether the maternity allowance and social protection rights are granted on a mandatory or voluntary basis.

If you’re confused about how the new system will work, speak to employment law solicitors and find out how the EU Directive will benefit you.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

August 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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