European Parliament votes in favour of improvements to work-life balance

Being able to take 10 paid days of paternity leave has become more of a reality after the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee voted in favour of a number of changes towards improving work-life balance.

“The position on the work-life balance directive voted today is strong and balanced. I am confident that this forms a solid basis for entering into negotiations with the Council in September,” said MEP David Casa, Parliament’s rapporteur, following the adoption of the report on the Work-Life Balance Directive today.

The text adopted today aims at introducing: 10 days of paternity leave to be taken upon the birth of a child and paid at least to 78% of the worker’s gross wage, four months of non-transferable parental leave to be taken until the child is at least 10 years old, five days of annual carer’s leave and the right for parents to request flexible working arrangements.

“A better work-life balance for workers increases productivity, decreases the uptake of sick leave and should close the gender pay and pension gap. This legislation, which is a priority for the EPP Group, will concretely improve the lives of EU of citizens and will also be good for business”, Casa added.

The text also considers measures for SMEs and micro enterprises, removing administrative burdens and providing more flexibility to employers to take measures to protect the proper functioning of their business.

MEP Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, lead negotiator in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) on the directive: “We will stay united before the Council and the Commission during negotiations to ensure that we give both mothers and fathers the opportunity to have equal rights to take care of their children and to pursue their professional careers.”

Following the announcement of the vote on the mandate in the plenary in September, Casa will assume the role of European Parliament lead negotiator in discussions with the Council and Commission.

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