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The Protection of Pregnancy and Maternity and Parental Leave

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Chapter Summary

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions have not only inspired the European Union (EU) legislation on pregnancy and maternity protection, but its Convention No. 3 of 1919, adopted at the first General Conference of the new organization, has defined the basic principles of the protection developed by the EU in its Directives. The purpose of pregnancy and maternity protection is two-fold: first, to protect the health of the woman before and after birth, her child's health, and to protect the special relationship between a woman and her child over the period which follows pregnancy and childbirth, and secondly, to provide a measure of job security-access to jobs for pregnant women, maintenance of salary and benefits during maternity leave, prevention of dismissal during maternity leave-generally to prevent discrimination of pregnant women and women on maternity leave.

Keywords: European Union (EU) legislation; international labour organization (ILO) standards; maternity protection; parental leave; pregnancy protection



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