The Eurocrats are at it again. Not only is British business doing its best to stay afloat in the current economic climate, but it's now having to fight a rearguard action to prevent last week's Spending Review doing any extra damage.
In pouring water onto burning oil, we find out that last week members of the European Parliament voted to increase the costs of our beleaguered businesses.
How? They've voted for a number of measures to increase maternity protection, including an increase to 20 weeks for full maternity pay and the banning of dismissing pregnant employees until six months have elapsed since their leave finished.
Whilst the proposals aren't as bad as they seem - Statutory Maternity Pay is generally recovered in full or at least in part by employers - it could be a problem if, at a later date, the Government restricts this recovery.
The proposals now have to be approved by the EU member states. Lobby your MP now if you aren't happy.
This was first published in October 2010