§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the directives which have affected his Department in each of the past three years and(a) the United Kingdom legislation introduced as a result of the directives, (b) the United Kingdom legislation which goes beyond the minimum standards set out in the directives and (c) the clauses within each piece of United Kingdom legislation which amplify the minimum standards set out in the directives. 
§ Mr. Burt
The only directive that has affected this Department in the past three years is the directive on the protection of pregnant women at work—92/85/EEC. This required changes to the UK's maternity benefits schemes for employed women. The changes were introduced for women expecting babies on or after 16 October 1994.
The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Act 1993 introduced the right to 14 weeks' maternity leave. Following a period of consultation, which allowed all sides of industry, interest groups and individuals to comment on the Government's proposals on maternity pay, the following legislation was introduced.SI 1994/1230: The Maternity Allowance and Statutory Maternity Pay Regulations 1994 made on 3 May 1994 amending primary legislation to enable changes to be made.SI 1994/1367: The Social Security Maternity Benefits and Statutory Sick Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1994 made on 11 June 1994 covering the detail of the changes.
There were two clauses which amplified the minimum standards set out in the directive.
Regulation 2 of SI 1994/1230 increased the rate of maternity allowance for employees for the whole 18-week maternity allowance period rather than the minimum 14-week leave period specified in the directive.
Regulation 4 of SI 1994/1230 extended the higher rate of statutory maternity pay—90 per cent. of earnings for the first six weeks of maternity leave—to all women who have completed 26 weeks' continuous service with their employer at the qualifying week. Previously, women had to complete at least two years' service to get the higher rate. The directive required a qualifying period of no more than 37 weeks. The regulation also has the effect of increasing the lower rate of statutory maternity pay for the remaining 12 weeks of the maternity period, rather than eight weeks required by the directive.
Restricting the changes to the minimum required by the directive would have complicated the scheme and made it harder to understand. Employers supported simplification 387W over the marginal extra cost. As a result, the changes were more beneficial to women and eased the administrative burden for business.