Self-employed women, assisting spouses and life partners of self-employed
workers, are granted a sufficient maternity allowance and a leave period of at
least 14 weeks should they choose to take it. This is the first time a
maternity allowance has been granted to self-employed workers at an EU
Assistant spouses and life partners of self-employed workers will have the
right to social security coverage (ie such as pensions) on an equal basis as
formal self-employed workers, if the member state offers such protection.
This will help provide a stronger social safety net and prevent women from
falling into poverty.
Member states may decide whether the maternity allowance and social
protection rights are granted on a mandatory or voluntary basis, ie upon
Member states have two years to introduce the legislation into their
national laws, ie by 5 August 2012. Only if there are particular
difficulties could this period be extended for another two years to implement
assisting spouses provisions.
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