EU increases the cost of employment

At the Council of Ministers yesterday, EU employment ministers agreed to extend the minimum period of parental leave to four months per parent.  The leave period applies to all workers, regardless of what kind of contract they have, so everyone who is on a fixed-term contract, working part-time workers or a temporary agency contractor will be eligible to take leave and it must be respected by all employers.

Naturally this diktat from our real government in Brussels will require the UK Parliament to change the laws to ensure compliance.  In addition to the UK this change affects Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Romania and Malta.

Our masters may have spoken but it will be left to businesses to meet the costs incurred of losing an employee for up to seven months, in the case of women this is on top of paid maternity leave which is currently granted for a minimum of 14 weeks.  Where the employee is self employed an allowance paid for from our taxes will subsidise this time off.  Either way, if you are a taxpayer or a consumer, more of your resources will be taken to make this parental leave possible.  The costs of this social policy will be borne by an already creaking economy.

Small businesses stand to be particularly hard hit by this new foreign legislation imposed on them.  It might be good news for older people, because a law such as this will act as a disincentive to employ people who are of child bearing age.  It certainly doesn’t bode well for the prospects of getting the millions of economically inactive younger people into work.

This is just another of the joys of independence and national sovereignty this country enjoys within the European Union.

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