By Claire West

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), alongside its fellow chambers across Europe has written to EU employment ministers urging them to conduct a thorough assessment of the European Parliament’s amendments to the Pregnant Workers Directive.

Commenting ahead of a discussion to be held by EU employment ministers on Monday, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The changes to the Pregnant Workers Directive agreed by the European Parliament place unacceptable costs on national security systems and businesses. If EU ministers do not act, the UK alone could face £3bn in extra costs - to say nothing of the wider impact across the Union's 27 member states.

“The Parliament’s own assessment reveals the huge costs that will be placed on business, at a time when public finances are tight, and when growth in the private sector must be encouraged to contribute to a UK recovery.

“The BCC urges EU employment ministers to reject the Parliament's unaffordable proposals and to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of any new amendments. Ministers have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to better regulation by conducting a thorough study of the financial implications for all 27 member states, of the wider business costs and, in particular, the impact on SMEs.”