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Women Can and Should Have It Both Ways

Finding a Balance Between the EU’s New Law on Maternity Leave and American Maternity Provisions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3-4 2010
Keywords European Union, maternity leave, family, work
Authors Amy Lai
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper critiques the EU’s new la won maternity leave by contextualizing it in the historical development of EU law as well as in feminist criticism. It arguaes in favour of generous paid maternity leave provisions based on economic and psychological arguments. It then examines the likely impact of an extension of maternity leave a the EU level on member states. Finally, it studies the Family and Medical Leave Act of the United States to reveal the insufficiencyof its maternity leave provisions, especially when compared to the generous provisions in current EU law. This paper arrives at the conclusion that new mothers, be they Europeans or Americans, can and should be able to reconcile their wort and family obligations.


Amy Lai
Amy Lai is a student at Boston College Law School and holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge. The author would like to express her gratitude to Professor Sophie Robin-Olivier for her comments on the draft.
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