The European Parliament is to consider proposals put forward by its Women's Rights Committee to extend the minimum period of maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks, on full pay. However, this proposal is at a very early stage and has several hurdles to overcome before it comes law, so recent alarmist press coverage may prove unwarranted.

We can expect to see new EU initiatives to reduce the gender pay gap, possibly including legislation, over the next five years, according to a recent announcement from the European Commission.