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Mums in the UK could soon be entitled to take up to two hours a day in breastfeeding breaks when they return to work after maternity leave. EU proposals include giving new mums should have the right to work part-time for up to a year after having a baby. They could even make it compulsory for mums to take six weeks off after giving birth.
Small businesses have responded to the ideas with fears that the new maternity laws would be unaffordable.
“Businesses do want to accommodate mothers but such extreme measures would make it increasingly difficult for small firms. They are mad,” said Phil McCabe from the Forum of Private Business.
Other criticism included worries about the pressure on the taxpayer that the new parental pay would cause.
“Rising maternity pay will mean damaging tax rises,” said Katja Hall, from business lobby group CBI.
Proposals include mums to get full pay for the first 20 weeks of maternity leave (currently they get six weeks at 90% pay) and dads' paternity pay to increase to two weeks on full pay.
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