New maternity rights for women will turn the clock back to the 1920s for female employment, Godfrey Bloom
, Euro MP and longstanding member of the EU's Women's Rights & Gender Equality Committee said today.
Mr Bloom, who has tabled 28 amendments seeking to nullify the new legislation when it goes before the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week, has a track record of defending women's rights from the absurdities of women's rights legislation.
He said the new legislation drove a coach and horses through the principles of English law, reversed the presumption of innocence and gave no protection to employers from vindictive or vexatious complaints.
"If this legislation had been specifically designed to discourage the employment of young women, the Commission could not have done a better job.
"The costs to business - estimated at up to £2.5bn extra - will simply serve as a further reason to not employ young women of child-bearing age.
"Absurd legislation such as this closes the door on opportunities for young women and consigns them to a role as second class citizens, trapped at home by the stupidity of legislators. It will single-handedly turn back the clock to the 1920s by forcing employers to avoid exposure to the penalties by not hiring young women."
Cost estimates of £2bn to £2.5bn have been provided by the UK Government and the European Parliament respectively. Mr Bloom's amendments to the proposed directive
effectively reverse the meaning of the legislation, significantly reducing the cost for employers.
While the UK government opposes the legislation, it can not stop it. UKIP will be watching the MEPs representing the coalition to see whether they act in accordance with the wishes of the UK government.