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EU, BG and Maternity Leave

The EC have recently proposed to extend the minimum fully paid maternity leave in the EU from 14 weeks to 18 weeks. The package also sees more flexibility about when maternity leave gets taken relative to the baby's arrival, stronger protection against dismissal and a right to go back to the same job or its equivalent. Women will also have the right to ask for flexi-time – but employers will have the right to refuse.



Longer maternity leave should make it easier for women for return to work after giving birth, the Commission said.

The EU executive also proposed that self-employed women should get the same maternity leave as salaried employees so that they would not be put off becoming self-employed.

The proposals are part of an EU drive to get more women into the workforce and cope with problems posed by the ageing of the European population.

The downside of this is that it could hit small and micro businesses very hard. Small businesses will struggle to afford the extra costs and may think twice about employing young women through fear of them going on long maternity leave.

Currently, in Bulgaria, women receive up to 90% of their monthly salary during maternity leave which is presently 315 days.