The Public Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open VLD) wants pregnant women to be able to work longer. In an interview with La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure on Saturday, she said she didn’t want them to be cut off from their jobs.
“We have to give more women the possibility to carry on working. There needs to be a change of attitude”, the Minister explained.
“We have heard that women feel cut off, even when there is no danger to them or their baby. During this period they are getting maternity pay, not their salary. On the one hand, it’s costing Social Security money. On the other, they are getting less money and could miss out on a promotion. It’s not a positive thing for them”, she said.
“We have to give them the choice of doing other work if they or their baby might be at risk, or to continue doing the same job if that is possible. Employers don’t have to cut off pregnant workers. We are in discussion with employers. We will look into how we can achieve this”, the Liberal Minister added.
She also said she wouldn’t impose a rule of three days in hospital after giving birth, even though this is becoming increasing common. The average used to be 4.1 days in hospital for a normal birth. “We won’t go below three days, there are limits”, she said.