(25 January 2019) After months of negotiations, the co-legislators have found an agreement: the Work-Life Balance directive will soon become EU law. This would mean more and better rights for working parents and carers, with the introduction of the right to paternity leave and carers’ leave at EU level, with the amelioration of the current parental leave scheme and with the right to request flexible working arrangement for working parents and carers.
In particular, the agreement sets a European minimum standard of 10 days of paternity leave paid at the level of sick pay and it increases the non-transferability part of parental leave from 1 month of the current legislation to 2 months. With the agreements, 2 months of parental leave will also have to be compensated. The agreement also includes European Provisions for 5 days/year carers’ leave for every working carer and the possibility for parents and carers to request an adjustment of their working arrangements, including through remote work and flexible schedules.
EPSU regrets that Member States did not accept and agree on the higher standards proposed by the European Commission and European Parliament. This is a missed opportunity for even a higher benefit for working parents and carers in Europe. Nevertheless, EPSU welcomes this agreement which is a step in the good direction: towards gender equality, by promoting a better share of care responsibilities between women and men and towards a more social Europe, by implementing via social legislation, the European Pillar of Social Rights.