Maternity fear for SMEs

New EU rules could cost small businesses thousands of pounds, if they’re forced to give women 20 weeks of maternity leave on full pay.

Currently, UK companies only have to pay out for six weeks at 90 per cent of the full salary, followed by up to 33 weeks of statutory maternity pay funded by the taxpayer.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) fears that the new rules – which will be voted on by the European Council this week – will cost British businesses and individuals an extra £2.5bn a year.

Adam Marshall, from the BCC, comments that the organisation finds it "troubling that members of the EU Parliament effectively want to create additional costs for the UK which will be borne by businesses and individuals alike."

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