|The EU Commission has proposed longer maternity leave for women in EU countries.
Under the new scheme, fully-paid maternity leave would be extended from 14 weeks to 18 weeks, during which time female employees would be entitled to 100 per cent pay or the equivalent of sick pay.
The commission also said that the same rights should apply to women who are self-employed.
Many countries in the EU currently offer women less than 18 weeks maternity leave and pay levels and conditions also greatly differ across the nations.
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