EU maternity plans 'unaffordable' says business group

European plans to change maternity rights will cost UK firms £2.5bn a year, a business group has warned.

Under proposals to be voted on next month, women leaving work to have a child would be entitled to 20 weeks' leave on full pay.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) argues this is unaffordable, especially in the current financial crisis.

They currently get six weeks on 90% of salary, followed by 33 weeks' statutory maternity pay of £125 a week.

Abigail Moss from the BCC and Belinda Phipps from the National Childbirth Trust came in to the BBC studios.

And we put to them that small businesses would not be able to afford to pay more maternity and so will stop employing young women.