State Benefits for Self-Employed - EP
The European Parliament has adopted new measures for social protection for self-employed persons, including at least 14 weeks maternity leave allowance for women and for wives or life partners of self-employed workers.
Cyprus has two years to adopt the new law, which is an update of an existing law giving rights to self-employed workers.
Compromise amendments agreed with Council say it should be up to Member States to decide whether paying for membership of social insurance schemes (covering maternity leave, sickness, invalidity and old age) must be mandatory for self-employed women or whether they can access this system voluntarily.
Any pregnant self-employed woman or self-employed worker's spouse would be entitled to a "sufficient maternity allowance to cover interruptions at their work" of at least 14 weeks' maternity leave, which is the minimum paid maternity leave laid down for normal employees by the EU maternity leave directive.
It will be up to Member States to decide whether the leave is mandatory or voluntary.
The Council is set to adopt these amendments on 7 June. Member States will then have two years to implement all these changes to the directive, or up to four years "if Member States find difficulties" in finding the way to grant standard social protection to self-employed workers or spouses and partners of the self-employed.