The European Parliament voted today to back a report on Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work-Life Balance.
Commenting on the report, and the forthcoming Commission proposals, Greens/EFA MEP Tatjana Ždanoka said:
"Achieving a good balance between our private lives and work is not only crucial for our well-being, it also brings benefits to the economy and society as a whole.
"This is especially important for those with a caring responsibility. The EU and its Member States need to adapt their policies to reflect today’s reality, not only by promoting gender equality but also by taking into account the needs of an increasingly diverse society.
"This has to include the types of leave we offer employees, including distinctive maternity, paternity and carers' leaves.
"Adequate income replacement and social protection during any type of family or care related leave is also key, and we therefore stress the need for legal instruments to guarantee this"
In 2017, the European Commission will propose a package of measures to adapt European labour market legislation and policies to allow parents and workers to care for their loved ones while achieving a better balance between private and professional life.
A report from Greens/EFA MEP Tatjana Ždanoka and S&D MEP Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, presented before the European Parliament on September 13, supports the initiative of the Commission to make progress in an area in which subsidiarity has in most countries been an obstacle to the recognition of equality between men and women.
Following the withdrawal by the Commission of the ambitious directive on maternity leave, which was blocked for six years by the Council, the report proposes a new approach to leave related to family obligations.
The report includes measures to better facilitate women's access to the labour market, encourage the redevelopment of working time for men, enhance the care of relatives by ensuring continuity of social rights, and enhance individual well-being and economic productivity.
The Commission is called upon to put forward a number of legislative proposals on family and care related types of leaves, a revised Maternity Leave Directive, a Paternity Leave Directive and a Carers’ leave directive.
The Commission’s consultation process with social partners is due to end September 30, 2016.