Labour MEP calls for discussion on family leave to replace maternity leave

Miriam Dalli stressed the need for a discussion on family leave that can be shared by both parents, depending on the needs of the family  

Labour MEP calls for discussion on family leave to replace maternity leave
Labour MEP calls for discussion on family leave to replace maternity leave

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli has called for a discussion on the possibility of introducing the concept of family leave, rather than simple maternity leave after a child is born.

Speaking at an event at the Rialto in Bormla, Dalli said having shared leave would improve families’ wellbeing, because parents could decide how the leave is shared according to the needs of the family.

 “In an ever-changing world, family needs are also changing and there are circumstances where the mother either needs or wants to go back to work before her maternity leave is over. On the other hand, with the current system, the father has only a few days of paternal leave following the birth of his child, before he returns to work,” Dalli said.

The MEP claimed that there are many cases in which maternity leave is not utilised and, with the consequence of the benefits resulting from the leave are lost.

Dalli stressed that both parents were equally as important in raising a child, and that both should be in a position to share their leave in the best way possible.

The introduction of family leave, shared between both parents, is a concept that has already been adopted in other EU Member States, with Sweden being the first country to adopt this system, a statement issued by the MEP said.  

It added that last year Austria has also introduced a new law strengthening the balance between family and work, rewarding parents who shared their leave equally.

Dalli said that family leave is not the only solution to achieve a proper work-life balance and that it should be complemented with other measures, such as teleworking and flexible working hours. 

Dalli also spoke about her work on legislation aimed at reducing car pollution, as well as the need for more charging point for electric vehicles.

Finally, she also pointed to legislation she recently started working on, to establish the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF).

Dalli explained how the AMF is an instrument that will finance asylum and migration for the period 2021-2027 and aims to complement the work done by member states in the areas of asylum, legal migration and external borders, and countering irregular migration and returns.

“Member States need a policy that properly manages immigration. As rapporteur on this legislation, I will ascertain that states in the EU periphery, including Malta, will have the necessary tools,” she said.

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