“Today is a great day for all European families. The Parliament has widely adopted the agreement for work-life balance rules setting up several new individual rights, not only for parents, but also for those who care for their relatives. This Directive means a direct investment in families across Europe. Throughout the negotiations, we kept a strong position and acted in the interests of European families. What we have agreed upon will not only translate into a better quality of life for our citizens, but will also increase productivity and help reduce the gender pay and pension gap. I believe that the right balance between employees’ rights and employers’ expectations has been found”, explained David Casa MEP, Parliament’s Spokesman and lead negotiator on the issue, after the vote in the European Parliament on the political agreement on the Work-Life Balance Directive.
Through adapting and modernising the EU legal framework, the Directive seeks to allow parents and people with caring responsibilities to better reconcile their work and caring duties. The agreed text introduces a 10-day paternity leave remunerated at national sick pay level, and four months of parental leave of which 2 months will be paid and will be non-transferable. The text also deals with the special situation of carers by creating a 5-day annual carers’ leave and gives the right to request flexible working arrangements for working parents balancing between the needs of both workers and employers.
“Taking action was imperative for the EPP Group as the costs of the inequalities between men and women’s employment amounted to almost 3% of the EU GDP in 2013. We stood united during the negotiations and succeeded in giving both mothers and fathers the opportunity to have equal rights to take care of their children and to pursue their professional careers. The agreement adopted today is a great step towards a better work-life balance for all working parents and towards improving the lives of families across all EU Member States,” said Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz MEP, the lead negotiator of the Directive in the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.