November 2018 'Work/life balance' directive - civil society voices concern about EP/Council negotiations being potentially blocked - Agence Europe


'Work/life balance' directive - civil society voices concern about European Parliament/Council negotiations being potentially blocked

Brussels, 05/11/2018 (Agence Europe)

On Monday 5 November, around a dozen civil society organisations expressed alarm at the turn taken by negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the directive regarding the work/life balance.

Those signing the communiqué – including Coface Europe, Ilga Europe, European Disability Forum, AGE Platform Europe, Socialplatform, Autism Europe, Mental Health Europe, IFSBH, European Women’s Lobby, Make Mother Matter, ENIL – have voiced concern about the position taken by member states.

Adopted in June, the position weakens the European Commission’s proposal (see EUROPE 12046).  The Austrian presidency of the Council of the EU is also unwavering in interinstitutional talks with the Parliament, leaving some observers to predict that talks will stall (see EUROPE 12113).  The associations consider “it is possible to reach a compromise on an ambitious text by the end of the year; it is only a political matter”.

The associations recall their recommendations close to the position finalised by parliamentarians (see EUROPE 1060), including in particular: - European paternity leave of at least ten days paid at least at 80%; - and improvement of the parental leave scheme, with at least four months non-transferable paid at least at 78% of previous earnings (gross salary).

The organisations also call for the European carers’ leave scheme to be five days/year paid at least 78% of previous earnings, and for parents and carers to be able to request flexibility in their working conditions (tele-working, reduced working hours).  They ask for the directive to recognise family diversity, including adoptive and homosexual families.

The co-legislators are to be around the negotiating table on Tuesday 6 November.   They will no doubt tackle the very thorny issue of paternity leave pay and carer pay as well as the equally difficult issue of the duration of the non-transferable period between the mother and father.  (Original version in French by Pascal Hansens) 

Wednesday 14 November 2018
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