Procedure : 2017/0085(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0270/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0270/2018

Debates :

PV 04/04/2019 - 3
CRE 04/04/2019 - 3

Votes :

PV 04/04/2019 - 6.16
CRE 04/04/2019 - 6.16

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2019)0348

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1114kWORD 197k
23.8.2018
PE 618.193v03-00 A8-0270/2018

on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU

(COM(2017)0253 – C8‑0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD))

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Rapporteur: David Casa

Rapporteur for the opinion (*):

Agnieszka Kozłowska‑Rajewicz, Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

(*) Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 MINORITY OPINION
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU

(COM(2017)0253 – C8‑0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0253),

–  having regard to Article 294(2), and Article 153(1)(i) and (2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0137/2017),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 6 December 2017(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 30 November 2017(2),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0270/2018),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment    1

Proposal for a directive

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union the promotion of equality between women and men is one of the Union's aims. Similarly, Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires equality between women and men to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

(2)  Gender equality is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, combatting social exclusion and discrimination, promoting social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protecting of the rights of the child are aims of the Union. Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that the Union must aim to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between men and women in all its activities. Moreover, Title III of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter) provides that everyone is equal before the law, that discrimination is prohibited and that equality between women and men is to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay (Articles 20, 21 and 23 of the Charter).

Amendment    2

Proposal for a directive

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3)  Article 33 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union provides for the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child, to reconcile family and professional life.

(3)  Article 33 of the Charter provides for legal, economic and social protection of the family, the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child, to reconcile family and professional life.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a directive

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4)  The Union is party to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The provisions of that Convention are thus, from the time of its entry into force, an integral part of the European Union legal order and Union legislation must as far as possible be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the Convention. The Convention provides, among other things, in its Article 7 that Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.

(4)  The Union and all Member States are party to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and more generally are to to promote and protect the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The provisions of that Convention are thus, from the time of its entry into force, an integral part of the European Union legal order and Union legislation must as far as possible be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the Convention. The Convention provides, among other things, in point 24 of its Preamble and in Article 7 that Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children. Moreover, the Convention, in its Article 23, provides that Parties are to take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships on an equal basis with others.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a directive

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a)  The Member States have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and are therefore legally bound to take all measures for the implementation of the rights concerned. The Convention provides, inter alia, in its Article 18 that parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child, and that the best interests of the child will be their basic concern. It also reminds States of their responsibility to take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a directive

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market, making it easier for men to share caring responsibilities on an equal basis with women, and closing gender gaps in earnings and pay. Such policies should take into account demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population.

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market, encouraging and making it easier for men to share caring responsibilities on an equal basis with women, and closing gender gaps in earnings, pay and pension. Such policies should take into account reducing gender stereotypes, recognising and redistributing care responsibilities and developing and implementing quality standards for all types of care services and, further, acknowledging demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population and its impact on care responsibilities. Addressing the challenge presented by demographic change is vital to ensuring the preparedness of work-life balance policies for the future of work. Particular attention needs to be given to the labour market participation of vulnerable categories of women.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a directive

Recital 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(5a)  Policies addressing work-life balance in relation to informal carers – who currently provide, free of charge, 80 % of all care across the Union – are relevant to and commensurate with the challenges posed by demographic changes. Those policies are expected to contribute to mitigating the effects of an increasing care demand on the one hand, and the trend towards smaller and more geographically dispersed families as well as increasing number of women entering the labour market, decreasing the informal care potential, on the other. The prevalence of informal care in the Union, coupled with the pressure on public expenditure in some countries means that this form of support is expected to increase in significance. It is therefore clear that informal care needs to be supported and measures that enable carers to combine care with work are indispensable.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a)  The European Pillar of Social Rights, which was proclaimed by the Union institutions on 17 November 2017 aims to deliver new and more effective rights for citizens of the Union. The Pillar builds upon 20 key principles, including Principle 2 on Gender Equality, Principle 3 on Equal Opportunities, and Principle 9 on Work-life Balance. The latter states that “parents and people with caring responsibilities have the right to suitable leave, adaptable working arrangements and access to care services. Women and men shall have equal access to special leaves of absence in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities and be encouraged to use them in a balanced way”.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6b)  Parents and other people with caring responsibilities should have the right to suitable leave, adaptable working arrangements and access to care services. Women and men should have equal access to special leave of absence in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities and should be encouraged to use them in a balanced way.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6c)  The European Parliament’s report of 18 June 2013 on ‘Impact of the crisis on access to care for vulnerable groups’ specifically calls on the Commission to propose a directive on carers’ leave.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6d)  According to Commission (Eurostat) data for October 2017, the male employment rate in the Union was 71,9 %, compared to the female employment rate of 61,4 %, despite the fact that women have a higher level of education.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  Work-life balance remains however a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A major factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market is the difficulty of balancing work and family obligations. When they have children, women tend to work less hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care responsibilities. Having an ill or dependent relative has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading some women to drop out of the labour market entirely.

(7)  Work-life balance remains a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A determining factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market, besides discrimination in access to work and in their employment status and payment and in the types of work open to them, is the difficulty of balancing work and family responsibilities. When they have children, women tend to work less hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care tasks. Moreover, there is an increasing tendency to extend working hours until late in the evening and a prevalence in certain sectors of night work or work on public holidays and this makes it difficult for workers to reconcile work with their duties towards children and other relatives or persons from their immediate circle in need of care or support. Having a relative with care or support needs has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading a number of women to drop out of the labour market partly or entirely. This in turn has a negative impact on the social security and pension rights of those carers, in some cases leading to an increased risk of poverty and social exclusion, especially during old age. Research and practise demonstrate benefits to employers as a consequence of addressing the needs of working carers, leading to better outcomes, such as reduced absenteeism, a greater ability to attract staff and to retain and motivate staff.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a)  The availability of quality, accessible, and affordable infrastructure for the care of children and relatives with care or support needs has proven to be a crucial factor for work-life balance policies that facilitate the rapid return of mothers to, and an increasing participation of women on, the labour market. However, by 2018 the majority of the Member States still have not yet achieved the 2002 Barcelona objectives for childcare. The achievement of those objectives is crucial to allow women to fully participate in employment and prioritising the investment in community-based quality, accessible and affordable childcare in the Multiannual Financial Framework is pivotal to unlocking the situation. The establishment of leave for individual carers should therefore not serve as a substitute for professional, accessible, affordable and high-quality community-based care services.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave in many Member States contributes to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men reinforces gender differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave or flexible working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment.

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave as well as transferability of parental leave in many Member States contributes to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men reinforces gender stereotypes and differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave or adaptable working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment. Furthermore, Eurofound research shows that take-up rates among parents depend on many interlinked factors. Of particularly great importance are high-quality, accessible and affordable facilities for childcare, care for elderly people and for people with disabilities; information about the leave available; leave compensation and pay disparities; prevailing family organisation models; and the extent to which workers fear isolation from the labour market when taking leave. Young people is the group that is clearly among the most vulnerable to all those factors.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8a)  In order to improve work-life balance, discriminatory practices such as the persistent gender pay gap should be tackled as to eventually ensure greater equity in the labour market. Member States together with the social partners and relevant stakeholders should include gender equality education in their curricula in compulsory and pre-school education and to continue with public authorities’ efforts to provide information and raise awareness. Policies on equal treatment should aim to address the issue of stereotypes in both male and female occupations and roles and the social partners should act upon their key role in informing both workers and employers and in raising their awareness about tackling discrimination.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8b)  To better assess the impact of the underlying and other related legislation, relevant data such as the number of working hours, pay, position, including a breakdown by gender and age should be collected and published at local, regional and national level in order to document intersectional discrimination and shape policies in a targeted and resource-efficient way. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND) and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), together with national and regional equality bodies, should continuously update work-life balance indicators to ensure data is relevant and timely.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8c)  Investing in community–based public services for people with disabilities or age-related support needs is key to ensuring that women are not forced out of the labour market or unable to remain or re-enter paid employment, in line with the Council Conclusions of 7 December 2017 on Enhancing Community-Based Support and Care for Independent Living.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8d)  In order to build a socially and economically sustainable society, the responsibility for a suitable work-life balance should be shared among workers, families, the social partners, local and regional authorities and all public and private employers and service providers.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a directive

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a)  The social partners should be encouraged by Member States to continue their active work with regard to facilitating the reconciliation of work, private and family life and improving gender equality and equal treatment in the labour market through education, adult learning, raising awareness and information campaigns.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a directive

Recital 9 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9b)  The social partners should be consulted about the design and implementation of economic, employment and social policies according to national practices. They should be encouraged to negotiate and conclude collective agreements in matters relevant to them, while respecting their autonomy and their right to collective action.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a directive

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  It is appropriate to repeal and replace Directive 2010/18/EU which currently regulates parental leave by putting into effect a framework agreement concluded between the social partners. This Directive builds, in particular, upon the rules laid down in Directive 2010/18/EU and complements them by strengthening existing rights and by introducing new rights.

(10)  It is appropriate to repeal and replace Directive 2010/18/EU which currently regulates parental leave by putting into effect a framework agreement concluded between the social partners. This Directive builds, in particular, upon the rules laid down in Directive 2010/18/EU and complements them by strengthening existing rights and by introducing new rights. Nothing in this Directive should be interpreted as diminishing previously existing rights pursuant to that Directive.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a directive

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements related to paternity, parental and carers' leave and to flexible working arrangements for parents and workers with caring responsibilities. By facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for parents and carers, this Directive should contribute to the Treaty-based goals of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities, equal treatment at work and the promotion of a high level of employment in the Union.

(11)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements related to paternity, parental and carers´ leave and to adaptable working arrangements for parents and workers with caring responsibilities. By facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for parents and carers, this Directive should contribute to the Treaty-based goals of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities, equal treatment at work and the promotion of a high level of employment in the Union. Moreover, this Directive recalls current demographic developments that lead to increasing care needs due to the ageing of society and, consequently, the need to invest and develop accessible, affordable and high-quality care facilities for child and elderly persons that allow carers to maintain an active professional life.

Amendment    22

Proposal for a directive

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12)  This Directive should apply to all workers who have employment contracts or other employment relationships. As is currently the case under Clause 2(3) of the Annex to Directive 2010/18/EU, this should include contracts relating to employment or employment relationships of part-time workers, fixed-term contract workers or persons with a contract of employment or employment relationship with a temporary agency.

(12)  This Directive should apply to all workers who have employment contracts or other employment relationships. As is currently the case under Clause 2(3) of the Annex to Directive 2010/18/EU, this should include contracts relating to employment or employment relationships of part-time workers, fixed-term contract workers or persons with a contract of employment or employment relationship with a temporary agency. The Commission should assess the possibility of extending the enjoyment of the rights provided for in this Directive to self-employed persons. The Commission should if appropriate, submit a legislative proposal on that basis.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a directive

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a)  Union law ensures the principle of equal treatment between various types of employment relationships, prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination based on sex in matters of employment, occupation, social protection and access to goods and services, ensures portability and preservation of rights in the case of mobility between Member States and guarantees minimum requirements for the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights across borders, as well as minimum requirements of transparency with regard to occupational schemes.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a directive

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to encourage a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paternity leave for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law.

(13)  In order to strengthen a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paid paternity leave for fathers or for equivalent second parents, as established in national law, which is to be taken around the time of the birth or adoption of a child, or of a stillbirth, should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a directive

Recital 13 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(13a)  Member States should take specific measures whereby all the benefits provided for in this Directive are applicable when parents have a lengthy stay abroad in order to complete an international adoption procedure.

 

Amendment    26

Proposal for a directive

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other.

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other. Ensuring that four months of parental leave is exclusively available to men and cannot be transferred to the other parent, prompts fathers to take it, thus promoting fatherhood. It also promotes and facilitates mothers’ reintegration to work after maternity and parental leave. Creating conditions for a more balanced distribution of the responsibilities of care between both parents certainly contributes to an increase in the participation of men and women in employment.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a directive

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least twelve years old. Member States should be able to specify the period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave and to decide whether the right to parental leave may be subject to a certain period of service. In view of the growing diversity of contractual arrangements, the sum of successive fixed-term contracts with the same employer should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the period of service. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also be able to decide whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave under certain circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification for the postponement.

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least 10 years old. Member States should be able to specify taking into account in particular the constraints of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, a reasonable period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave and to decide whether the right to parental leave may be subject to a certain period of service. Member States should be able to introduce a requirement for a minimum period of service, of no longer than six months, before the worker is entitled to benefit from that right. In view of the growing diversity of contractual arrangements, the sum of successive fixed-term contracts with the same employer should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the period of service. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also determine whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave for a reasonable period of time under objective circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification for the postponement in writing.

Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in particularly disadvantaged situations.

Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in particularly disadvantaged situations, in particular with regard to children with a disability, a mental health problem, or a serious medical condition or illness, as well as with regard to single parents, who should have access to at least the same level of rights and protection ensured to parents under this Directive and may benefit from specific provisions in accordance with national law considering their specific situation.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a directive

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should be encouraged to maintain contact during the period of leave and may make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should be encouraged to maintain voluntary contact during the period of leave and may make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, such as training or retraining, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice. It should be made clear that workers who do not wish to maintain contact are not obliged to do so and are not to be discriminated against in any way. Furthermore, employers should inform workers during their period of leave or adaptable working arrangements about any training offered to the rest of the workers, promotion process and internal vacancies available, and those workers should retain their right to participate in them.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a directive

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17)  In order to provide greater opportunities to remain in the work force for men and women carrying of elderly family member and/or other relatives in need of care, workers with a seriously ill or dependant relative should have the right to take time off from work in the form of carers' leave to take care of that relative. To prevent abuse of that right, proof of the serious illness or dependency may be required prior to granting of the leave.

(17)  In order to provide greater opportunities to remain in the work force for workers caring for elderly family member and/or other relatives in need of care, workers with a relative with care or support needs due to a serious medical reason or an age-related impairment should have the right to take time off from work in the form of carers' leave to take care of that relative. Medical proof of the serious medical reason for care or support needs should be required prior to granting of the leave, while at all times protecting the privacy and personal data of both the worker and the person in need of care, in accordance with national law.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a directive

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18)  In addition to the right to carers' leave provided for in this Directive, all workers should maintain their right to take time off from work on the grounds of force majeure for urgent and unexpected family reasons, currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, under the conditions established by the Member States.

(18)  In addition to the right to carers' leave provided for in this Directive, all workers should maintain their right to take time off from work, without loss of employment rights, on the grounds of force majeure for urgent and unexpected family reasons, currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, under the conditions established in accordance with national law.

Amendment    31

Proposal for a directive

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the allowance should be at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave. Member States should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including healthcare.

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to a payment or an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the payment or allowance should be at least equivalent to 78 % of the worker´s gross wage in the case of parental leave and carers’ leave. Member States should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including pension and healthcare.

Amendment    32

Proposal for a directive

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20)  In accordance with Directive 2010/18/EU Member States are required to define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of parental leave. In accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the employment relationship between the worker and his employer is therefore maintained during the period of leave and, as a result, the beneficiary of such leave, remains, during that period, a worker for the purposes of Union law. When defining the status of employment contract or employment relationship during the period of the leaves covered by this Directive, including as regards entitlements to social security, the Member States should therefore ensure that the employment relationship is maintained.

(20)  In accordance with Directive 2010/18/EU Member States are required to define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of parental leave. In accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the employment relationship between the worker and his employer is therefore maintained during the period of leave and, as a result, the beneficiary of such leave, remains, during that period, a worker for the purposes of Union law. When defining the status of employment contract or employment relationship during the period of the leaves covered by this Directive, including as regards entitlements to social security, the Member States should therefore ensure that the employment relationship is maintained without prejudice to entitlements to social security including pension contribution, which the worker remains subject to throughout the period of leave. To that end, the Members States should ensure that the leave provided for in this Directive does not affect the worker’s pension entitlements during the entire period.

Amendment    33

Proposal for a directive

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, those workers should be able to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preferences. Working parents and carers should therefore be able to request flexible working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes. In order to address the needs of workers and employers, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of flexible working arrangements, including a reduction in working hours. While working part-time has been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. The ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for flexible working arrangements should lie with the employer, Specific circumstances underlying the need for flexible working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a given agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires.

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, those workers should be able to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preferences. Working parents and carers should therefore be able to request adaptable working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, adaptable working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes, In order to address the needs of workers and employers, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of adaptable working arrangements, including a reduction in working hours. While working part-time has been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children, or caring for relatives with care or support needs, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. In the case of many carers, this can lead to financial hardship, due to loss of direct as well as of future income, while the provision of informal care is ultimately a sizeable contribution to society as well as to tight health and social budgets. The ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for adaptable working arrangements should lie with the employer who should justify the refusal in writing. Specific circumstances underlying the need for adaptable working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a given mutually agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires. Member States should take the specificity and the constraints to the working arrangements and planning for the micro and small enterprises into account when implementing those arrangements.

Amendment    34

Proposal for a directive

Recital 22 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(22a)  Council Directive 2010/18/EC provides the baseline reference for any actions by the Member States or the worker in the case of parental leave.

Amendment    35

Proposal for a directive

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request flexible working arrangements should be protected against discrimination or any less favourable treatment on that ground.

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request adaptable working arrangements should be protected against any form of discrimination or any less favourable treatment on that ground. At the same time, it should be ensured that the interest of both employers and workers is protected.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a directive

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request flexible working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such flexible working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal.

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request adaptable working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such adaptable working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal in writing.

Amendment    37

Proposal for a directive

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25)  The burden of proof that there has been no dismissal on the grounds that workers have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 or have exercised the right to request flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9 should fall on the employer when workers establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that they have been dismissed on such grounds.

(25)  The burden of proof that there has been no dismissal on the grounds that workers have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 should fall on the employer when workers establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that they have been dismissed on such grounds.

Amendment    38

Proposal for a directive

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26)  Member States should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in the event of breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. The effective implementation of the principle of equal treatment requires adequate judicial protection of workers against adverse treatment or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint or proceeding relating to the rights under this Directive. Victims may be deterred from exercising their rights on account of the risk of retaliation and therefore should be protected from any adverse treatment where they exercise their rights provided for by this Directive. Such protection is particularly relevant as regards workers’ representatives in the exercise of their function.

(26)  Member States should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in the event of breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. The effective implementation of the principle of equal treatment requires adequate judicial protection of workers against adverse treatment or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint or proceeding relating to the rights under this Directive. Victims may be deterred from exercising their rights on account of the risk of retaliation and therefore should be protected from any adverse treatment where they exercise their rights provided for by this Directive. Such protection is particularly relevant as regards workers’ representatives in the exercise of their function. Labour and social inspectors should monitor the appropriate implementation of this Directive with the adequate means to avoid discrimination and ensure equal access of workers to their social and labour rights.

Amendment    39

Proposal for a directive

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27)  With a view to further improving the level of protection of rights provided for in this Directive, national equality bodies should also be competent in the areas covered in this Directive.

(27)  With a view to further improving the level of protection of rights provided for in this Directive, national equality bodies and bodies concerned with the rights of children should also be competent in the areas covered in this Directive.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a directive

Recital 27 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(27a)  Local and regional authorities, which play a key role in drafting, implementing and evaluating policies in areas where they often have vital expertise, such as childcare (including the different types of child minding), care for elderly persons and people with a disability, education and social services or employment, as well as social integration and employability, should be involved in the implementation of the proposed measures. Moreover, local and regional authorities should promote best practices and mutual learning on work-life balance measures.

Amendment    41

Proposal for a directive

Recital 27 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(27b)  Civil society, including equality bodies should have a role in the effective application of gender equality laws and provisions in employment relations with a view to ensuring equal treatment. Member States should improve the social dialogue and the exchange of experience and best practice among all relevant stakeholders.

Amendment    42

Proposal for a directive

Recital 27 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(27c)  In order to enhance the adoption of work-life balance measures, Member States should promote voluntary certification systems assessing the performance of public and private organisations. The implementation of those certification systems should be enhanced by means of incentives.

 

Amendment    43

Proposal for a directive

Recital 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(28)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements, thus giving the Member States the option of introducing or maintaining more favourable provisions. Rights acquired under the existing legal framework should continue to apply, unless more favourable provisions are introduced by this Directive. The implementation of this Directive cannot be used to reduce existing rights set out in existing Union legislation in this field nor can it constitute valid grounds for reducing the general level of protection afforded to workers in the field covered by this Directive.

(28)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements, thus allowing the Member States to introduce or maintain more favourable provisions. Rights acquired under the existing legal framework should continue to apply, unless more favourable provisions are introduced by this Directive. The implementation of this Directive cannot be used to reduce existing rights set out in existing Union law, national law and collective agreements in this field nor can it constitute valid grounds for reducing the general level of protection afforded to workers in the field covered by this Directive.

Amendment    44

Proposal for a directive

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30)  This Directive should avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings. Member States are therefore invited to assess the impact of their transposition act on SMEs in order to make sure that SMEs are not disproportionately affected, with specific attention for micro-enterprises and for administrative burden.

(30)  In implementing this Directive, Member States should avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of micro, small and medium-sized undertakings or overburden employers. Member States are therefore invited to regularly assess thoroughly in advance and to monitor the impact of their transposition act on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in order to make sure that they are not disproportionately affected, with specific attention for micro-enterprises and for administrative burden, particularly concerning the impact of arrangements for parental leave and patterns of flexible work on the work organisation, and to publish the results of such assessments. Member States are encouraged to provide guidance and advice to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and further can choose to reduce the administrative burden on such enterprises without prejudicing the rights of workers laid down in this Directive, and essentially maintaining equality of treatment between workers employed by such enterprises and workers employed by other undertakings.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a directive

Recital 32 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(32a)  To achieve better work-life balance and gender equality in the area of reconciliation of private and professional life and to fully achieve the intended goal of this Directive, the Commission should also consider reviewing Council Directive 92/85/EEC, taking into account the rights and provisions agreed in this Directive.

Amendment    46

Proposal for a directive

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Directive applies to all workers, men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship.

This Directive applies to all workers, men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship as defined by law, collective agreements and/or practices in force in each Member State, in accordance with the criteria for determining the status of a worker as established by the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  "paternity leave" means leave from work for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child;

(a)  "paternity leave" means paid leave from work for fathers or an equivalent second parent as defined in national law to be taken around the time of the birth, or adoption of a child or of a stillbirth;.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  “parental leave” means leave from work on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child to take care of that child;

(b)  “parental leave” means paid leave from work on the grounds of the birth, adoption or award of custody of a child to take care of that child;

Amendment    49

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  "carer" means a worker providing personal care or support in case of a serious illness or dependency of a relative;

(c)  "carer" means a worker providing personal care or support on a not-for-profit basis due to a serious medical reason, including a disability, a chronic illness or a mental health condition, as well as hospitalisation, surgical intervention without hospitalisation, or an age-related impairment, to:

 

(i)  a relative; or

 

(ii)  a person from the worker’s immediate circle who is not a relative, following the written request of that person.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca)  "carers’ leave" means paid leave from work for carers in order to provide personal care or support to a relative or a person from the worker’s immediate circle following his or her written request, due to a serious medical reason, including a disability, a chronic illness or a mental health condition, as well as hospitalisation, surgical intervention without hospitalisation, or an age-related impairment;

Amendment    51

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d)  "relative" means a worker's son, daughter, mother, father, spouse or partner in civil partnership, where such partnerships are envisaged by national law;

(d)  "relative" means a worker´s relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, including foster children and legal guardians, or partner in civil partnership, where such partnerships are envisaged by national law;

Amendment    52

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e)  "dependency" means a situation in which a person is, temporarily or permanently, in need of care due to disability or a serious medical condition other than serious illness;

(e)  “care and support needsmeans personalised assistance or support which allows a person with a disability, a mental health condition, a health condition, or an age-related impairment, to participate fully in society.

Amendment    53

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f)  “flexible working arrangements” means the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours.

(f)  “adaptable working arrangements” means the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns on a voluntary basis including through the use of remote working arrangements where feasible, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours.

Amendment    54

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that fathers have the right to take paternity leave of at least ten working days on the occasion of the birth of a child.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that fathers or the equivalent second parents, as defined in national law, have the right to paternity leave of at least ten working days to be taken around the time of the birth, or adoption of a child. Member States may determine whether such leave may be taken partly before or only directly after the birth, adoption or stillbirth.

Amendment    55

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1 - subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The right to paternity leave shall be granted irrespective of the length of service.

Amendment    56

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Member States shall assess whether it is appropriate to adapt the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of paternity leave to the needs of fathers in special situations that require those fathers to be more present in national law. Such special situations may include fathers with a disability, fathers of children with a disability including a mental health condition or a serious medical condition or illness, and single fathers, as defined in national law or practice.

Amendment    57

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  Member States shall assess the need for arrangements needed to ensure the application of paternity leave is adapted to the needs of multiple births, premature births, adoptive parents, parents with a disability, parents with a mental health condition and parents of children with a disability or mental health condition. Member States may define other cases that require special arrangements for the application of paternity leave.

Amendment    58

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least four months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least twelve.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least four months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least 10. Member States may increase that threshold for children with a disability or a chronic illness, adoptive parents, parents with a disability and parents with a mental health condition.

Amendment    59

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Member States shall assess the possibility of extending the provisions on parental leave laid down in this Directive in regard to single parents. Single parents shall have access to at least the same level of rights and protection ensured to parents under this Directive and may benefit from specific provisions that take account of their specific situation in accordance with national law or collective agreements, depending on their specific situation.

Amendment    60

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Member States shall establish the period of notice to be given by workers to employers when exercising the right to parental leave. In doing so, Member States shall take into account the needs of both employers and workers. Member States shall ensure that the worker's request specifies the intended beginning and end of the period of leave.

3.  Member States shall establish a reasonable period of notice to be given by the workers to employers when exercising the right to parental leave, specifying the intended beginning and end of the period of leave. In doing so, Member States shall take into account the needs of both employers, in particular micro and small undertakings, and workers.

Amendment    61

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  Member States shall take specific measures to ensure that all benefits provided for by this Directive apply when parents go abroad for a protracted period in order to complete an international adoption procedure.

Amendment    62

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed one year. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive 1999/70/EC21 , with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed six months. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive 1999/70/EC21, with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

__________________

__________________

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

Amendment    63

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Member States may define the circumstances in which an employer, following consultation in accordance with national law, collective agreements and/or practice, may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave by a reasonable period of time on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the good functioning of the establishment. Employers shall justify any postponement of parental leave in writing.

5.  Member States may define the circumstances in which an employer, following consultation in accordance with national law, collective agreements and/or practice, may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave by a reasonable period of time on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the proper functioning of the establishment or seriously negatively impact the business of the employer. Employers shall justify any postponing of parental leave in writing. In the event where of a justified postponement, the employer shall, where possible, offer flexible forms of parental leave pursuant to paragraph 6.

Amendment    64

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to request parental leave also on a part-time basis, in blocks separated by periods of work or in other flexible forms. Employers shall consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request in writing.

6.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to request parental leave also on a part-time basis, in blocks separated by periods of work or in other flexible forms. Employers shall consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers, in particular in micro and small-sized enterprises. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request in writing within a reasonable period following submission of the application.

Amendment    65

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be adapted to the needs of adoptive parents, parents having a disability and parents with children with a disability or long-term illness.

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be adapted to the needs of adoptive parents, parents with a disability, parents with a mental health condition and parents with children with a disability or chronic illness, in particular by means of measures such as the extension of the age limit of the child for the purpose of parental leave, facilitated access to part-time work upon the worker’s return to the workplace or an extension of the length of the parental leave.

Amendment    66

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to carers' leave of at least five working days per year, per worker. Such right may be subject to appropriate substantiation of the medical condition of the worker's relative.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to carers' leave of at least five working days per year, per worker. Such right may be subject to appropriate medical substantiation of the care and support needs of the worker's relative or the person for whom the worker provides care pursuant to point (ca) of Article 3. The information concerning the medical condition shall be confidential and shall be shared only with a restricted number of involved services to safeguard the right to data protection of both the worker and the person in need of care or support.

Amendment    67

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States’ arrangements that guarantee workers the right to personal care or support for relatives or persons from the worker’s immediate circle may be recognised as carers’ leave in accordance with paragraph 1 if the national system offers an equivalent or higher level of protection that that laid down in this Directive.

Amendment    68

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 – paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States shall assess the need to adapt or extend the definition of "carer" for the purpose of applying for the relevant leave, with the aim of taking into account situations of particular difficulty.

Amendment    69

Proposal for a directive

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment or an adequate allowance at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave.

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment or an adequate allowance as follows:

 

(a)  for paternity leave as referred to in Article 4(1), a payment or allowance of at least 80 % of the worker's gross wage;

 

(b)  for parental leave as referred to in Article 5(1), a payment or allowance of at least equivalent to 78 % of the worker's gross wage;

 

(c)  for carers' leave as referred to in Article 6, a payment or allowance of at least equivalent to 78 % of the worker's gross wage.

Amendment    70

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Flexible working arrangements

Adaptable working arrangements

Amendment    71

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least twelve, and carers, have the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such flexible working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least 10, and carers, have the right to request adaptable working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such adaptable working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

Amendment    72

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Member States may establish framework guidelines for the period of notice to be given by the workers to employers when exercising the right to adaptable working arrangements, specifying the beginning and end of the period for exercising this right. In doing so, Member States shall take into account the needs of both employers, especially micro, small and medium-sized undertakings, and workers. Member States shall also take into account force majeure as well as the possibility for a mutual agreement on changes to the period of notice between the worker and the employer.

Justification

This amendment contributes to better legal clarity for all companies especially micro, small and medium-sized ones, specifying the reasonable period of notice in the frame of the uptake of adaptable working arrangements.

Amendment    73

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Employers shall consider and respond to requests for flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request.

2.  Employers shall consider and respond in writing to requests for adaptable working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises , and workers. Employers shall justify in writing any refusal or postponement of such a request within a reasonable period of time following submission of the application on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the proper functioning of the establishment, or seriously and negatively impact on the business of the employer.

Amendment    74

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  When flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. The worker shall also have the right to request to return to the original working pattern whenever a change of circumstances so justifies. Employers shall be obliged to consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers.

3.  When adaptable working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. The worker shall also have the right to request to return to the original working pattern whenever a change of circumstances so justifies. Employers shall be obliged to consider and respond in writing to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers.

Amendment    75

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  Member States shall assess the need for arrangements to ensure that the application of adaptable working time is adapted to the specific needs of parents in special situations requiring them to be more present, in particular with regard to parents with a disability and parents of children with a disability including a mental health problem, or another serious medical condition or illness, and single parents, as defined in national law and practice. .

Amendment    76

Proposal for a directive

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Rights acquired or in the process of being acquired by workers on the date on which leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 starts shall be maintained until the end of such leave. At the end of such leave, those rights, including any changes arising from national law, collective agreements or practice, shall apply.

1.  Rights acquired or in the process of being acquired by workers on the date on which leave referred to in Article 4, 5, 6, 7 or 9 starts shall be maintained until the end of such leave or of the respective period of time for the adaptable working arrangements. At the end of such leave, those rights, including any changes arising from national law, collective agreements or practice, shall apply.

Amendment    77

Proposal for a directive

Article 10 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Member States shall ensure that, at the end of leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, workers are entitled to return to their jobs or to equivalent posts on terms and conditions which are no less favourable to them, and to benefit from any improvement in working conditions to which they would have been entitled during their absence.

2.  Member States shall ensure that, at the end of leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, workers are entitled to return to their jobs or to obtain equivalent posts on terms and conditions which are no less favourable to them and which correspond to the employment contract, and to benefit from any improvement in working conditions to which they would have been entitled during their absence.

Amendment    78

Proposal for a directive

Article 10 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  Member States shall ensure that, at the end of the leave referred to in Article 5, workers can benefit, if necessary, from a reintegration plan to support their reintegration into the employer undertaking.

Amendment    79

Proposal for a directive

Article 10 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Member States shall define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, including as regards entitlements to social security, while ensuring that the employment relationship is maintained during that period.

3.  Member States shall define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of leave or of the respective period of time for the adaptable working arrangements referred to in Article 4, 5, 6, 7 or 9 while ensuring that the employment relationship is maintained during that period and without prejudice to the entitlements to social security, including to pension contributions, to which the worker shall remain subject throughout the period of leave.

Amendment    80

Proposal for a directive

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or on the ground that they have exercised their right to flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit discrimination and less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5, 6 or 7 or on the ground that they have exercised their right to adaptable working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Amendment    81

Proposal for a directive

Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States together with the social partners shall take the appropriate steps to ensure that reasonable, available and accessible legal advice and assistance can be obtained and is provided to those in need of it, including confidential and in-person counselling, by equality bodies or appropriate intermediaries.

Amendment    82

Proposal for a directive

Article 12 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit the dismissal and all preparations for dismissal of workers, on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or have exercised the right to request flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit the dismissal and all preparations for dismissal of workers, on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or have exercised the right to request adaptable working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Amendment    83

Proposal for a directive

Article 12 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Workers who consider that they have been dismissed on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 or of exercising the right to request flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9 may request the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal. The employer shall provide those grounds in writing.

2.  Workers who consider that they have been dismissed on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 may request the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal. The employer shall provide those grounds in writing.

Amendment    84

Proposal for a directive

Article 12 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that, when workers referred to in paragraph 2 establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that there have been such dismissal, it shall be for the respondent to prove that the dismissal was based on grounds other than those referred to in paragraph 1.

3.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that, when workers who consider that they have been dismissed on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 establish, before a court or other competent authority, facts from which it may be presumed that there have been such dismissal, it shall be for the respondent to prove that the dismissal was based on grounds other than having applied for, or having taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6.

Amendment    85

Proposal for a directive

Article 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 12a

 

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

 

Member States may provide for tax relief or other incentives to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises comply with the terms of this Directive.

Amendment    86

Proposal for a directive

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that the body or bodies designated, pursuant to Article 20 of Directive 2006/54/EC, for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of parents and carers without discrimination on grounds of sex are also competent for issues falling within the scope of this Directive.

Member States shall ensure that the body or bodies designated, pursuant to Article 20 of Directive 2006/54/EC, for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of parents and carers without gender discrimination are also competent for issues falling within the scope of this Directive. Those national bodies shall also be competent in monitoring the implementation of this Directive on national level and provide gender disaggregated data to the EIGE in order to allow for the proper monitoring and assessment of the implementation of this Directive.

Amendment    87

Proposal for a directive

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 16

Article 16

Level of protection

Level of protection

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that are more favourable to workers than those laid down in this Directive. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article 5(2).

1.  Member States may introduce or shall maintain more favourable provisions for workers than those set out in this Directive. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article 5(2).

 

2.  This Directive shall not constitute valid grounds for reducing the rights conferred to or the level of protection already afforded to workers within Member States in any form.

 

3.  This Directive shall not affect Member States’ prerogative to apply or to introduce laws, regulations or administrative provisions which are more favourable to workers or to encourage or permit the application of collective agreements more favourable to workers.

 

4.  This Directive is without prejudice to any other rights conferred on workers by other legal acts of the Union.

Amendment    88

Proposal for a directive

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force relating to the subject matter as set out in Article 1 of this Directive, are brought by all appropriate means to the attention of the persons concerned throughout their territory.

Member States shall ensure that the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force relating to the subject matter as set out in Article 1 of this Directive, are brought by all appropriate means to the attention of workers and employers, in particular micro, small and medium-sized undertakings, concerned throughout their territory.

Amendment    89

Proposal for a directive

Article 17 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States shall assess the possibility to promote voluntary certification systems. In order to foster a broader adoption of work-life balance measures by public and private organisations, public authorities could set up incentive measures in favour of certificated organisations.

Amendment    90

Proposal for a directive

Article 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 17 a

 

Dialogue with relevant stakeholders

 

With a view to promoting the objectives of this Directive, the Union and its Member States shall encourage dialogue with relevant stakeholders, in particular with associations for parents and families and with employers and trade unions.

Amendment    91

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  At the latest, by five years after the entry into force of this Directive, Member States shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive necessary for the Commission to draw up a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.

1.  By...[three years after the date of entry into force of this Directive], Member States shall assess the implementation of the objectives of this Directive, in particular that of gender equality and its impact on the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive necessary for the Commission to draw up a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.

 

 

Amendment    92

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  On the basis of the information provided by Member States pursuant to paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report in which it reviews the application of this Directive, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal.

2.  On the basis of the information provided by Member States pursuant to paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report in which it reviews the application of this Directive, including data disaggregated by sex, on the take-up of different types of leave contained in this Directive and its impact on micro, small and medium-sized undertakings, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal, and shall assess the possibility to extend the rights contained in this Directive to self-employed persons.

Amendment    93

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  The report referred to in paragraph 2 shall include impact assessments, inter alia, on the following points:

 

(a)  possibilities to extend the duration of carers’ leave;

 

(b)  possibilities to extend the definition of carers;

 

(c)  the effect of this Directive on family carers who use the possibility of carers’ leave, who have used the possibility of requesting adaptable working arrangements, and who have used none of the arrangements laid down in this Directive.

Amendment    94

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b.  The Commission shall, by ...[.. after the date of entry into force of this Directive] assess compliance of this Directive with the principle of equal treatment of different levels of income replacement for different types of leave and introduce immediately the necessary legislative measures if such discrimination is identified.

Amendment    95

Proposal for a directive

Article 20 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive, at the latest two years after the entry into force. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions.

The Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive, by ...[two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive]. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions.

 

Member States shall ensure that the measures referred to in the first subparagraph are the subject of a consultation procedure involving the social partners, in accordance with specific national circumstances.

(1)

  OJ C 129, 11.4.2018, p.44.

(2)

  Not yet published in the Official Journal.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Commission’s proposed directive is one of the first deliverables of the European Pillar for Social Rights. It is based on the 'New Start' initiative aimed to address the work-life balance challenges faced by working parents and carers. The initiative will help in the pursuit of the objectives set out in the Treaty of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and equal treatment at work and the promotion of high level of employment in the EU.

The legislative proposal thus aims to focus on targeting measures to address the under-representation of women in employment by improving the conditions of reconciling working and private duties, but also their unequal treatment and opportunities in the labour market. Furthermore, it encourages the strengthening of men's roles as carers in the family, which will also benefit children. It is well documented that the use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, has demonstrated that they have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment. It thereby promotes non-discrimination and fostering gender equality. The proposed Directive in its current form aims to cover all workers, men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship.

It seeks to introduce a number of new or higher minimum standards for parental, paternity and carers’ leave, which are geared at helping to address the anomalies that exist in achieving a work life balance for both parents and carers. The Rapporteur believes that these measures are both timely and necessary in order to improve access to work-life balance arrangements and to better reflect the changing working patterns in our society.

The Rapporteur further believes that the availability of quality, accessible, and affordable childcare infrastructure has proven to be a crucial aspect to work-life balance policies in the Member States and that facilitates the rapid return of women to work and their increased participation in the labour market. He would therefore encourage the Member States to improve childcare facilities and would like to see this reflected in the text; he therefore inserts related recital in the Directive.

Within the same spirit of Article 153 on which this Directive is being proposed the Rapporteur would like to introduce in addition to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) a specific emphasis on micro enterprises as the Rapporteur believes that due to their particular specificities and constraints, that are different from those of SMEs, they might find it more challenging to implement certain parts of this directive.

Throughout the text, the Rapporteur ensured that additional micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) provisions are added to ensure that this Directive shall avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of such undertakings, without taking away the rights of their workers to avail themselves of work-life balance arrangements. As an example, the Rapporteur qualified in one of his amendments, without any prejudice to whether such a request should be granted or not by the employer that we should take into account the difficulties that flexible working arrangements may cause to MSMEs.

In order to address the concern that certain administrative burdens might be severely detrimental to micro enterprises the Rapporteur has proposed that Member States should have the option to adopt measures to limit the burden on micro enterprises from the provisions of Article 12 (Protection from dismissal and burden of proof), in order not to risk imposing a disproportionate burden on such enterprises.

The Commission’s main proposals introduce the following new elements to what is currently already in force:

• The Directive introduces a right to paternity leave of no less than ten working days around the birth of a child. This is a major new development, considering that presently there are no minimum European-level standards for paternity leave. The Rapporteur fully supports this new proposal as the opportunities and incentives for fathers to take leave range considerably across Member States. Where such leave exists the level of pay and days of leave vary considerably.

The Rapporteur amended the text to include the right to paternity leave also on the occasion of the adoption of a child. It is clear that the birth or adoption of a child is an important time for the father to be present and share the responsibilities with his partner. It is a time for bonding, which has been proven to be important for both the child and the father. The Rapporteur has proposed an amendment to clarify that the worker that is considered a father could also be an equivalent second parent as defined in national law.

With reference to the level of pay or allowance the Rapporteur maintained the Commission proposal for persons availing themselves of paternity leave to be paid at sick pay level in order to mirror existing EU legislation catering for leave at the time of the birth of a child.

• With regards to the Parental leave directive (2010/18/EU), which will be repealed once this proposed Directive enters into force, workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least 4 months, of which one month is non-transferable, on the grounds of birth or adoption of a child. This can be taken at least until the child reaches the age of 8 years. Currently there is no obligation of pay during parental leave and it is up to the Member States and social partners to decide on the detailed conditions of this leave.

The current proposal on the other hand strengthens the right to parental leave by making the 4 month period compensated at least at the level of sick pay and non-transferable from one parent to another. Parents will also have the right to request to total period of leave in a flexible way and the age of the child up to which parents can take leave will be increased from 8 to 12 years. The Rapporteur agrees with this proposal as the current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. It is well documented that the use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, has demonstrated that they have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment.

On the other hand, whilst the Rapporteur agrees that parental leave should be paid he deviated from the Commission proposal and is proposing that the worker receives a payment or allowance of at least equivalent to 75% of the gross wage. The Rapporteur believes that setting a standard percentage of payment at EU level will address the anomalies between the different rates at which workers are paid at sick pay level in the different Member States and create a level playing field for all workers and will help in the take up of leave by more fathers, for whom the lack of economic return is a strong disincentive to taking parental leave.

The Rapporteur introduced a proposal to better manage the request of parental leave by establishing a clear notice period to be given by the worker requesting a period of leave to the employer with the exact timeframe for when the worker intends to exercise their right to parental leave. The Rapporteur believes that this would benefit both employers in their planning and workers by giving them the possibility of being able to take up this leave when it is needed most. This is especially even more relevant to MSMEs as they do not afford the luxury of an extensive number of employees or financial resources to recruit additional temporary workers.

•  The Rapporteur welcomes the proposal to introduce a right to carer's leave for workers caring for seriously ill or dependant relatives. They will be able to take 5 days per year, compensated at least at the level of sick pay. The Rapporteur has proposed that carers leave are instead paid at least equivalent to 75% of the worker’s gross wage.

•  In parallel the new proposal also extends the right to request flexible working arrangements and to make use of parental leave to all working parents of children of at least up to the age of 12. The Rapporteur understands that this might generate certain difficulties, particularly for MSMEs, and has therefore proposed to amend the minimum age to 10.


MINORITY OPINION

Minority opinion by Joëlle Mélin and Dominique Martin on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU

(COM(2017)0253 – C8-0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD))

The dependency of a child, parent or collateral relative on a worker occurs frequently and is exclusively a private matter. However difficult or painful this situation may be, it should in no way modify the ordinary conditions of working life and alter the terms of parental leave currently in force, as this would skew the work-life balance in favour of private life which would de facto become dominant. Moreover, this is a sovereign prerogative, both in principle and in terms of the amounts of the benefits; for, contrary to what we have been led to believe, the EU does not provide any bonuses here. Ultimately, it is not up to employers to compensate each of their employees for whatever the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune may have thrown at them, as this could undermine the national social protection systems and whole swathes of our industry.

Joëlle Mélin                  Dominique Martin


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (30.5.2018)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU

(COM(2017)0253 – C8‑0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz

(*) Associated committees – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Work life-balance measures are a requirement not limited to women rights, but also necessary for safeguarding the rights of men and gender equality in general. They are also instrumental for the EU economy, including for combating the negative effects of population aging and labour shortages.

The situation of women in the labour market persists to be challenging – women's employment rate is 64% on average in the EU, while it is 76% for men. As evidence shows, the main reason for labour market inactivity for women is related to the lack of possibility to effectively reconcile professional work with family duties. As a consequence, the gender pension gap, which results from accumulated inequalities throughout women’s life course and their periods of absence in the labour market stands at a stark 40% average for the EU(1). The progress in achieving gender equality in the labour market has been slow and work-life balance measures are needed to change this trend(2). Additionally, work-life balance policies are instrumental for an effective response to labour shortages and an increasingly aging population(3).

The Rapporteur wishes to focus on the objective of the Directive to increase women's employment and to well reflect its legal basis. Two crucial pillars of the proposal which the Rapporteur defines as fundamental for achieving these objectives are:

1)  Non-transferability of parental leave is a condition for an equal share of leave between women and men and a tool for increasing women's presence in the labour market and men's engagement in family duties.

2)  Sick pay level of compensation during leaves is compatible with the existing legal framework and the Maternity Leave Directive. Fathers take up leaves when a sufficiently high level of compensation is provided(4).

Paid paternity leave is the first precondition for fathers to engage in care responsibilities(5). The Rapporteur decided, however, to introduce a level of flexibility for the take-up of paternity leave giving fathers a possibility to use this right within the first year after birth or adoption: more fathers will be likely to take the leave as some men might not be sufficiently confident in taking care of a child just after birth. Still, the Rapporteur decided to maintain the preference for the take-up of paternity leave at the occasion of birth or adoption, as evidence shows that father-child bonding happens most efficiently at that early stage(6). As for the carers’ leave, the Rapporteur views it as a welcome response to the problem of aging population since care responsibilities are not limited just to childcare.

The Rapporteur introduces several modifications with intention of making the proposal responsive to the demands of the EU economies:

Firstly, while work-life balance measures are long-term investments brining economic prosperity and enhancing women’s employment, particular attention has to be paid to ensuring that the short-term and long-term functioning of business, in micro, small and medium-sized companies, are safeguarded. Better clarity for companies which will allow for a more efficient planning and prevention of the loss of productivity is required. To this end, the Rapporteur emphasizes the need for clear notice periods as well as qualifying periods for the leaves and for flexible working arrangements.

While the Rapporteur recognizes the need for paying special attention to disadvantaged groups, she decided not to introduce an extended leave right for single working parents since the objectives of the Directive focus on increasing women's presence in the labour market. Extending leave periods for single parents may in practice prolong the absence from employment of single mothers, who are the majority of single parents, and therefore, undermine the objective of the Directive with detrimental effects to these women’s financial independence. The Directive leaves it to the Member States to determine the nature and structure of support in cases of disadvantaged families which the Rapporteur fully supports.

To conclude, the Rapporteur believes that the position of the European Parliament should be focused on defending the principal objectives of the Directive and on the legal basis which is founded on equality between women and men. The European Parliament should also be strategic and avoid the failure of an overambitious proposal by respecting the expressed reservations of Member States with a goal of rapid adoption in the Council.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Proposal for a directive

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union the promotion of equality between women and men is one of the Union's aims. Similarly, Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires equality between women and men to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

(2)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 the Treaty on European Union and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union the elimination of inequalities and promotion of equality between women and men is one of the Union's aims. Similarly, under Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union any discrimination on any ground is prohibited, while Article 23 requires equality between women and men to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a directive

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4)  The Union is party to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The provisions of that Convention are thus, from the time of its entry into force, an integral part of the European Union legal order and Union legislation must as far as possible be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the Convention. The Convention provides, among other things, in its Article 7 that Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.

(4)  The Union and all itsMember States are parties to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The Convention underlines that persons with disabilities and their family members should receive the necessary protection and assistance to enable families to contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of people with disabilities. The provisions of that Convention are an integral part of the European Union legal order and Union legislation must as far as possible be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the Convention. The Convention provides, among other things, in its Article 7 that Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children. Moreover, the Convention, in its Article 23, provides that Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a directive

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market, making it easier for men to share caring responsibilities on an equal basis with women, and closing gender gaps in earnings and pay. Such policies should take into account demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population.

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market, encouraging and making it easier for men to share caring responsibilities on an equal basis with women, and closing gender gaps in earnings, pay and pension. Such policies should take into account demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population. Moreover, they should also contribute to tackling the stereotypes ascribed to gender roles.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6 a)  The European Pillar of Social Rights, which was proclaimed by Member States on 17 November 2017 aims to deliver new and more effective rights for citizens of the Union. The Pillar builds upon 20 key principles, including Principle 2 on Gender Equality, Principle 3 on Equal Opportunities, and Principle 9 on Work-life Balance. The latter states that “[p]arents and people with caring responsibilities have the right to suitable leave, flexible working arrangements and access to care services. Women and men shall have equal access to special leaves of absence in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities and be encouraged to use them in a balanced way”.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6b)  Approximately 80% of informal, usually unpaid care across the Union is provided by families and friends, who are providing an indispensable part of the provision, organisation and sustainability of health and social care systems. Approximately two-thirds of carers in Europe are women. The economic value of unpaid informal care in the Union, as a percentage of the overall cost of formal long-term care provision, is estimated to range from 50 to 90%;

Amendment    6

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  Work-life balance remains however a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A major factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market is the difficulty of balancing work and family obligations. When they have children, women tend to work less hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care responsibilities. Having an ill or dependent relative has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading some women to drop out of the labour market entirely.

(7)  Work-life balance remains however a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A major factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market is the difficulty of balancing family and work responsibilities. When they have children, women tend to work less hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care responsibilities. Having an ill or dependent relative with care or support needs has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading some women to drop out of the labour market partly or entirely which translates into a negative financial effect on their pay and pensions.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave in many Member States contributes to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men reinforces gender differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave or flexible working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment.

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave as well as transferability of parental leave in many Member States contribute to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men reinforces gender differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave or flexible working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment. Furthermore, Eurofound research shows that take-up rates among parents depend on many intertwined factors. Such factors include: information about the leave available; leave compensation and pay disparities; availability and flexibility of childcare facilities; prevailing family organisation models; and the extent to which workers fear isolation from the labour market when taking leave1a.

 

__________________

 

1a Eurofound: Promoting uptake of parental and paternity leave among fathers in the European Union (2015) and The gender employment gap: Challenges and solutions (2016).

Amendment    8

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8 a)  The availability of quality, accessible, and affordable infrastructure for the care of children and other dependants has proven to be a crucial factor for work-life balance policies that facilitate the rapid return of mothers to, and an increasing participation of women on, the labour market. However, by 2018 the majority of Union Member States have still not yet achieved the so-called Barcelona objectives for childcare, set in 2002. The achievement of these objectives is crucial to allow women to fully participate in employment and prioritising the investment in community-based quality, accessible and affordable childcare in the Multiannual Financial Framework is pivotal for unlocking the situation.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8b)  A disproportionately high tax burden on the second earner in most Member States remains a significant disincentive to the participation of women in the labour market. The identification and removal of all obstacles resulting from gender-biased tax benefit systems is essential to promote women to fully participate in employment and to promote the equal share of reproductive work and care responsibilities.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a directive

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to encourage a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paternity leave for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law.

(13)  In order to encourage a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paid paternity leave for fathers or an equivalent second parent as defined in national law to be taken around the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child and within duration limits of the maternity leave should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a directive

Recital 13 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(13 a)  Member States should also assess whether the conditions and detailed arrangements of paternity leave should be adapted to the specific needs of fathers in special situations requiring them to be more present, in particular with regard to fathers having a disability and fathers with children with disabilities including mental health problems or serious medical conditions or illnesses, and single fathers as defined by the national law and practice in Member States.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a directive

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other.

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other. Member States should be able to specify that two months of parental leave should be taken during the first four years of the child’s life. However, if not used within this timeframe, Member States should ensure that the leave is not lost and can be used up to at least 10 years of a child.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a directive

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least twelve years old. Member States should be able to specify the period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave and to decide whether the right to parental leave may be subject to a certain period of service. In view of the growing diversity of contractual arrangements, the sum of successive fixed-term contracts with the same employer should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the period of service. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also be able to decide whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave under certain circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification for the postponement.

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least ten years old. Member States should be able to specify taking into account in particular the constraints of micro companies, a reasonable period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave. In order to deter potential abuse, the Member States should be able to introduce a requirement of a minimum period of service before a worker is entitled to benefit from that right, with a maximum duration of six months. In view of the growing diversity of contractual arrangements, the sum of successive fixed-term contracts with the same employer should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the period of service. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also be able to decide whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave under certain circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification for the postponement in a written form.

Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in particularly disadvantaged situations.

Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in special situations requiring them to be more present, in particular with regard to parents having a disability and parents with children with a disability including mental health problems, serious medical condition or illness and single parents as defined by the national law and practice in Member States.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a directive

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should be encouraged to maintain contact during the period of leave and may make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should have the possibility to voluntarily maintain contact during the period of leave. Contact between workers and employers should not result in any burden or distress for workers and family members and should facilitate the making of arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice. Workers who do not wish to maintain contact should not be discriminated against in any way.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a directive

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17)  In order to provide greater opportunities to remain in the work force for men and women carrying of elderly family member and/or other relatives in need of care, workers with a seriously ill or dependant relative should have the right to take time off from work in the form of carers' leave to take care of that relative. To prevent abuse of that right, proof of the serious illness or dependency may be required prior to granting of the leave.

(17)  In order to provide greater opportunities to remain in the work force for workers taking care of elderly family member and/or other relatives in need of care, workers with a relative with care or support needs due to a serious medical reason should have the right to take time off from work in the form of carers' leave to take care of that relative. To prevent abuse of that right, medical proof of the serious medical reason for care or support needs should be required prior to granting of the leave.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a directive

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a)  The establishment of a leave for individual carers should not serve as a substitute for professional, accessible, affordable and high-quality community-based care services, which will also greatly contribute to future economic development.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a directive

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the allowance should be at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave. Member States should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including healthcare.

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the allowance should be defined by the Member State and should be equivalent to the maternity leave pay as defined at the national level in case of paternity leave, while in the case of the parental leave and the carers’ leave it should be at least equivalent to 80% of the worker’s gross wage. With this, Member States would ensure that the payment or allowance is set at a level that encourages parents to better share the entitlements and should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including healthcare and pension schemes.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a directive

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20)  In accordance with Directive 2010/18/EU Member States are required to define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of parental leave. In accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the employment relationship between the worker and his employer is therefore maintained during the period of leave and, as a result, the beneficiary of such leave, remains, during that period, a worker for the purposes of Union law. When defining the status of employment contract or employment relationship during the period of the leaves covered by this Directive, including as regards entitlements to social security, the Member States should therefore ensure that the employment relationship is maintained.

(20)  In accordance with Directive 2010/18/EU Member States are required to define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of parental leave. In accordance with the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the employment relationship between the worker and his employer is therefore maintained during the period of leave and, as a result, the beneficiary of such leave, remains, during that period, a worker for the purposes of Union law. When defining the status of employment contract or employment relationship during the period of the leaves covered by this Directive, the Member States should therefore ensure that the employment relationship is maintained without prejudice to entitlements to social security including to pension contribution to which the worker remains subject throughout the period of leave. In that perspective, Member States should ensure the leave provided for in this Directive does not affect the worker’s pension entitlements during all this period.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a directive

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, those workers should be able to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preferences. Working parents and carers should therefore be able to request flexible working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes. In order to address the needs of workers and employers, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of flexible working arrangements, including a reduction in working hours. While working part-time has been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. The ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for flexible working arrangements should lie with the employer, Specific circumstances underlying the need for flexible working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a given agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires.

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, those workers should be able to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preferences. Working parents and carers should therefore be able to request flexible working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements where appropriate, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes. In order to address the needs of workers and employers, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of flexible working arrangements, including a reduction in working hours. While working part-time has been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. While the ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for flexible working arrangements should lie with the employer, it should take into account the needs of employees as well as the constrains to the working arrangements and planning for the micro enterprises, and shouldjustify a refusal. Specific circumstances underlying the need for flexible working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a mutually agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a directive

Recital 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22)  Leave arrangements are intended to support working parents and carers during a specific period of time, and are aimed at maintaining and promoting their continued attachment to the labour market. It is therefore appropriate to make express provision for the protection of the employment rights of workers taking leave covered by this Directive and in particular their right to return to the same or an equivalent post, and not to suffer any detriment in their terms and conditions as a result of their absence. Workers should retain their entitlement to relevant rights already acquired, or in the process of being acquired, until the end of such leave.

(22)  Leave arrangements are intended to support working parents and carers during a specific period of time, and are aimed at maintaining and promoting their continued attachment to the labour market. It is therefore appropriate to make express provision for the protection of the employment rights of workers taking leave covered by this Directive and in particular their right to return to the same or an equivalent post, and not to suffer any detriment in their terms and conditions as a result of their absence. Workers should retain their entitlement to relevant rights already acquired, or in the process of being acquired, until the end of such leave. Equally important is the goal of leave arrangements to ensure that working parents maintain quality of family life, by taking care of their children, carrying out their responsibilities, including their primary educational role especially during early childhood, in the best possible way and by spending quality time with their children. An ineffective reconciliation of family and professional life can also have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of children and parents.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a directive

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request flexible working arrangements should be protected against discrimination or any less favourable treatment on that ground.

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request flexible working arrangements should be protected against any form of discrimination or any less favourable treatment on that ground. At the same time, in order to ensure balance between the interests of employers and workers, Member States should ensure that employers are protected against any abuse of such rights.

Amendment    22

Proposal for a directive

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request flexible working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such flexible working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal.

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request flexible working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such flexible working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal in writing.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a directive

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26)  Member States should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in the event of breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. The effective implementation of the principle of equal treatment requires adequate judicial protection of workers against adverse treatment or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint or proceeding relating to the rights under this Directive. Victims may be deterred from exercising their rights on account of the risk of retaliation and therefore should be protected from any adverse treatment where they exercise their rights provided for by this Directive. Such protection is particularly relevant as regards workers’ representatives in the exercise of their function.

(26)  Member States should provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in the event of breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. The effective implementation of the principle of equal treatment requires adequate judicial protection of workers against adverse treatment or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint or proceeding relating to the rights under this Directive. Victims may be deterred from exercising their rights on account of the risk of retaliation and therefore should be protected from any adverse treatment where they exercise their rights provided for by this Directive. Such protection is particularly relevant as regards workers’ representatives in the exercise of their function. Labour and social inspections should monitor the appropriate implementation of this Directive with the adequate means to avoid discrimination and ensure equal access of workers to their social and labour rights.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a directive

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27)  With a view to further improving the level of protection of rights provided for in this Directive, national equality bodies should also be competent in the areas covered in this Directive.

(27)  With a view to further improving the level of protection of rights provided for in this Directive, national equality and child rights bodies should also be competent in the areas covered in this Directive.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a directive

Recital 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(28)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements, thus giving the Member States the option of introducing or maintaining more favourable provisions. Rights acquired under the existing legal framework should continue to apply, unless more favourable provisions are introduced by this Directive. The implementation of this Directive cannot be used to reduce existing rights set out in existing Union legislation in this field nor can it constitute valid grounds for reducing the general level of protection afforded to workers in the field covered by this Directive.

(28)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements, thus allowing the Member States to introduce or maintain more favourable provisions. Rights acquired under the existing legal framework should continue to apply, unless more favourable provisions are introduced by this Directive. The implementation of this Directive cannot be used to reduce existing rights set out in existing Union legislation, national legislation and collective agreements in this field nor can it constitute valid grounds for reducing the general level of protection afforded to workers in the field covered by this Directive.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a directive

Recital 28 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(28 a)  Member states should consider extending the measures contained in this Directive to the workers who are self-employed.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a directive

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30)  This Directive should avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings. Member States are therefore invited to assess the impact of their transposition act on SMEs in order to make sure that SMEs are not disproportionately affected, with specific attention for micro-enterprises and for administrative burden.

(30)  In implementing this Directive Member States should avoid imposing unjustified administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of micro, small and medium-sized undertakings. Member States are therefore invited to regularly assess the impact of their transposition act on SMEs in order to make sure that SMEs are not disproportionately affected, with specific attention for micro-enterprises and for administrative burden, particularly concerning the impact of arrangements for parental leave and patterns of flexible work on the work organisation, and to publish the results of such assessments.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a directive

Recital 32 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(32 a)  To achieve better work-life balance and gender equality in the area of reconciliation of family and professional life and to fully achieve the intended goal of this Directive, the Commission should also consider to assess the review of the Council Directive 92/85/EEC that dates from 1992, taking into account the new rights and provisions agreed in the present Directive.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a directive

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Directive applies to all workers, men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship.

This Directive applies to all workers who have an employment contract or employment relationship as defined by law, collective agreements and/or practices in force in each Member State, in accordance with the criteria for determining the status of a worker as established by the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  "paternity leave" means leave from work for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child;

(a)  "paternity leave" means paid leave from work for fathers or an equivalent second parent as defined in national law on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child, to be taken around the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child within duration limits of the maternity leave;

Amendment    31

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  “parental leave” means leave from work on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child to take care of that child;

(b)  “parental leave” means paid leave from work on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child to take care of that child;

Amendment    32

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  "carer" means a worker providing personal care or support in case of a serious illness or dependency of a relative;

(c)  "carer" means a worker providing personal care or support to a relative in need of care or support due to a serious medical reason or disability as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;

Amendment    33

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(c a)  "carers’ leave" means paid leave from work for carers in order to provide personal care or support to a relative in need of care or support due to a serious medical reason or disability;

Amendment    34

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d)  "relative" means a worker's son, daughter, mother, father, spouse or partner in civil partnership, where such partnerships are envisaged by national law;

(d)  "relative" means at least a worker's son, daughter, mother, father, sibling, step children, foster children, grandchildren, grandparents, legal guardian or ward, spouse or partner in civil partnership, where such partnerships are envisaged by national law;

Amendment    35

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(da)  “designated third party” means a worker to whom a parent transfers their right to leaves covered in this Directive.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e)  "dependency" means a situation in which a person is, temporarily or permanently, in need of care due to disability or a serious medical condition other than serious illness;

(e)  “care and support needs” means a state in which a person is, temporarily or permanently, in need of care due to a disability or a serious medical reason and requires personal assistance or support;

Amendment    37

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f)  “flexible working arrangements” means the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours.

(f)  “flexible working arrangements” means the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns on a voluntary basis including through the use of remote working arrangements where feasible, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours.

Amendment    38

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that fathers have the right to take paternity leave of at least ten working days on the occasion of the birth of a child.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that fathers or the equivalent second parents as defined in national law have the right to take paternity leave of at least ten working days around the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child, within duration limits of the maternity leave.

Amendment    39

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1 a.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of paternity leave to be adapted to the needs of fathers in special situations requiring them to be more present, to be defined by Member States. Such special situations may include: fathers having a disability, fathers with children with disabilities including mental health problems, serious medical conditions or illnesses, and single fathers as defined by the national law and practice in Member States.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least four months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least twelve.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to paid and non-transferable parental leave of at least four months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least ten. Member States shall assess the possibility to extend the right to parental leave for workers in special situations requiring them to be more present, to be provided for by Member States.. Such special situations may include: parents having a disability, parents with children with a disability including mental health problems, serious medical condition or illness and single parents as defined by the national law and practice in Member States.

Amendment    41

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Where Member States allow one parent to transfer their parental leave entitlement to the other parent, they shall ensure that at least four months of parental leave cannot be transferred.

2.  Where Member States allow one parent to transfer their parental leave entitlement to the other parent, they shall ensure that at least four months of parental leave cannot be transferred. Where Member States provide for more than four months’ parental leave, a limited amount of that leave might be transferable not only to the other parent, but also to a designated third party who effectively takes care of the child.

Amendment    42

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed one year. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive 1999/70/EC21, with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed six months. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive1999/70/EC21, with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

__________________

__________________

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

Amendment    43

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Member States may define the circumstances in which an employer, following consultation in accordance with national law, collective agreements and/or practice, may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave by a reasonable period of time on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the good functioning of the establishment. Employers shall justify any postponement of parental leave in writing.

5.  Member States may define the circumstances in which an employer, following consultation in accordance with national law, collective agreements and/or practice, may be allowed to postpone no more than twice and for a maximum period of six months the granting of parental leave by a reasonable period of time on the grounds that it would seriously disrupt the good functioning of the establishment. Employers shall justify any postponement of parental leave in writing. In addition, Member States shall take into account in particular the constraints of micro companies.

Amendment    44

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to request parental leave also on a part-time basis, in blocks separated by periods of work or in other flexible forms. Employers shall consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request in writing.

6.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to request parental leave also on a part-time basis, in blocks separated by periods of work or in other flexible forms. Employers shall consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request in writing, within a reasonable period of time following the submission of the application.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be adapted to the needs of adoptive parents, parents having a disability and parents with children with a disability or long-term illness.

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be adapted to the needs of parents in special situations to be defined by Member States. Such special situations may include: parents having a disability, parents with children with a disability including mental health problems, serious medical condition or illness and single parents as defined by the national law and practice in Member States.

Amendment    46

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to carers' leave of at least five working days per year, per worker. Such right may be subject to appropriate substantiation of the medical condition of the worker's relative.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to carers' leave of at least five working days per year, per worker. Such right may be subject to appropriate medical substantiation of the care and support needs of the worker's relative.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 6a

 

Confidentiality of information

 

The information on the medical condition or situation of loss of autonomy shall be kept confidential and be shared only with a restricted number of involved services to safeguard the right to data protection of both the worker and the person in need of care.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a directive

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment or an adequate allowance at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave.

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment or an adequate allowance as follows:

 

(a) for paternity leave as referred to in Article 4(1), a payment or allowance equivalent to maternity leave pay as defined at the national level whilst ensuring the principle of equal pay for women and men;

 

(b) for parental leave as referred to in Article 5(1), a payment or allowance of at least equivalent to 80 % of the worker's gross wage;

 

(c) for carers' leave as referred to in Article 6, a payment or allowance of at least equivalent to 80 % of the worker's gross wage.

Amendment    49

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least twelve, and carers, have the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such flexible working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least ten, and carers, have the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such flexible working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Employers shall consider and respond to requests for flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request.

2.  Employers shall consider and respond in writing to requests for flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers, in particular in micro businesses. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request while providing options for alternative arrangements.

Amendment    51

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  When flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. The worker shall also have the right to request to return to the original working pattern whenever a change of circumstances so justifies. Employers shall be obliged to consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers.

3.  When flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. The worker shall also have the right to request to return to the original working pattern whenever a change of circumstances so justifies. Employers shall be obliged to consider and respond in writing to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers.

Amendment    52

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  Member States shall assess the need for arrangements to ensure the application of flexible working time is adapted to the specific needs of parents in special situations requiring more of their presence, in particular with regard to parents having a disability and parents having with children with a disability including mental health problems, serious medical condition or illness and single parents as defined by the national law and practice in Member States. .

Amendment    53

Proposal for a directive

Article 10 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  .Member States shall define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, including as regards entitlements to social security, while ensuring that the employment relationship is maintained during that period.

3.  Member States shall define the status of the employment contract or employment relationship for the period of leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 while ensuring that the employment relationship is maintained during that period but also without prejudice to entitlements to social security including to pension contribution to which the worker remains subject throughout the period of leave.

Amendment    54

Proposal for a directive

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or on the ground that they have exercised their right to flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit any form of discrimination and less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or on the ground that they have exercised their right to flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Amendment    55

Proposal for a directive

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall lay down rules on penalties applicable to breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. Member States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that those penalties are applied. Penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. They may take the form of a fine. They may also comprise payment of compensation.

Member States shall lay down rules on penalties applicable to breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. Member States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that those penalties are applied. Penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. They shall take the form of a fine. They may also comprise payment of compensation.

Amendment    56

Proposal for a directive

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 16

Article 16

Level of protection

Non regression

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that are more favourable to workers than those laid down in this Directive. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article 5(2).

1. Member States and/or the social partners may introduce or shall maintain more favourable provisions for workers than those set out in this Directive. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article5(2).

 

2. This Directive shall be without prejudice to any more specific provisions in Union law, and in particular Union law provisions concerning equal treatment or opportunities for men and women.

 

3. The implementation of this Directive shall not constitute valid grounds for reducing the rights conferred to and the general level of protection afforded to workers.

Amendment    57

Proposal for a directive

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force relating to the subject matter as set out in Article 1 of this Directive, are brought by all appropriate means to the attention of the persons concerned throughout their territory.

Member States shall ensure that the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive, together with the relevant provisions already in force relating to the subject matter as set out in Article 1 of this Directive, are brought by all appropriate means to the attention of the persons concerned throughout their territory, also through the Single Digital Gateway.

Amendment    58

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  At the latest, by five years after the entry into force of this Directive, Member States shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive necessary for the Commission to draw up a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.

1.  At the latest, by three years after the entry into force of this Directive, Member States shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive necessary for the Commission to draw up a report and assess the implementation of this Directive’s objectives, including that of gender equality and additionally its impact on the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.

Amendment    59

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  On the basis of the information provided by Member States pursuant to paragraph 1, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report in which it reviews the application of this Directive, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal.

2.  On the basis of the information provided by Member States pursuant to paragraph 1,the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report in which it reviews the application of this Directive, including data, disaggregated by sex, on the take-up of different types of leave contained in this Directive and its impact on micro, small and medium-sized undertakings, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal and to assess the possibility to extend in the future the rights contained in this Directive to self-employed workers..

Amendment    60

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  The Commission shall also assess soon after the date of entry into force of this Directive its compliance with the principle of equal treatment of different levels of income replacement for different types of leave and introduce immediately the necessary legislative measures if such discrimination is identified.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Work-life balance for parents and carers

References

COM(2017)0253 – C8-0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

15.5.2017

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

FEMM

15.5.2017

Associated committees - date announced in plenary

14.9.2017

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz

20.10.2017

Discussed in committee

19.2.2018

27.3.2018

15.5.2018

 

Date adopted

28.5.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

8

4

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Heinz K. Becker, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Anna Hedh, Mary Honeyball, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Florent Marcellesi, Angelika Mlinar, Angelika Niebler, Maria Noichl, Margot Parker, Marijana Petir, Pina Picierno, João Pimenta Lopes, Terry Reintke, Liliana Rodrigues, Michaela Šojdrová, Ernest Urtasun, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Anna Záborská, Maria Gabriela Zoană

Substitutes present for the final vote

Eleonora Forenza, Julie Girling, Kostadinka Kuneva, Clare Moody, Branislav Škripek, Mylène Troszczynski, Julie Ward

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

19

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Angelika Mlinar

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto

PPE

Heinz K. Becker, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Michaela Šojdrová

S&D

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Anna Hedh, Mary Honeyball, Clare Moody, Maria Noichl, Pina Picierno, Liliana Rodrigues, Julie Ward, Maria Gabriela Zoană

VERTS/ALE

Florent Marcellesi, Terry Reintke, Ernest Urtasun

8

-

ECR

Branislav Škripek, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

EFDD

Margot Parker

ENF

Mylène Troszczynski

GUE/NGL

João Pimenta Lopes

PPE

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Julie Girling, Angelika Niebler

4

0

GUE/NGL

Eleonora Forenza, Kostadinka Kuneva

PPE

Marijana Petir, Anna Záborská

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Data from DG JUST: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/justice-and-fundamental-rights/discrimination/gender-equality/equal-economic-independence_en#womeninwork

(2)

EIGE: Gender Equality Index 2017: Measuring gender equality in the European Union 2005-2015 - Main findings. Chapter Domain of work: 10 years of slow progress.

(3)

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Europe_2020_indicators_-_employment

(4)

Eurofound: Promoting uptake of parental and paternity leave among fathers in the European Union (2015), https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/customised-report/2015/working-conditions-industrial-relations/promoting-uptake-of-parental-and-paternity-leave-among-fathers-in-the-european-union

OECD (2017), The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, OECD Publishing, Paris.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264281318-en

(5)

Studies show that paternity leave is a condition for further engagement of fathers in care responsibilities, for example, in the form of parental leave take up but also in terms of their general involvement in child rearing:

Linda Haas & C. Philip Hwang (2008) The Impact of Taking Parental Leave on Fathers’ Participation In Childcare And Relationships With Children: Lessons from Sweden, Community, Work & Family, 11:1, 85-104, DOI: 10.1080/13668800701785346

Sakiko Tanaka & Jane Waldfogel (2007) EFFECTS OF PARENTAL LEAVE AND WORK HOURS ON FATHERS’ INVOLVEMENT WITH THEIR BABIES, Community, Work & Family, 10:4, 409-426, DOI: 10.1080/13668800701575069

Eyal Abraham, Talma Hendler, Irit Shapira-Lichter, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon, Orna Zagoory-Sharon and Ruth Feldman: Father's brain is sensitive to childcare experiences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 2014 July, 111 (27) 9792-9797

(6)

The stronger the bond, the more likely that the father will be engaged in care, and the greater engagement of father with the first child, the higher chances for a family to decide for a second child.

Ann-Zofie Duvander & Gunnar Andersson (2008) Gender Equality and Fertility in Sweden, Marriage & Family Review, 39:1-2, 121-142, DOI: 10.1300/J002v39n01_07


OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs (23.5.2018)

for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU

(COM(2017)0253 – C8‑0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD))

Rapporteur: Joëlle Bergeron

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission considers that the proposal for a directive is consistent with the need to take a broader approach to the issue of the work-life balance and reflects recent societal trends.

Its aim is to address the under-representation of women in the labour market and to support their career progression by making it easier for them to reconcile their professional and family responsibilities. With this aim in view, it lays down minimum criteria needed to establish proper equality between men and women as regards labour market opportunities and treatment at work. It promotes non-discrimination and gender equality by adapting and updating the EU legal framework in this area.

In the EU, most people working part time are women (32% of all women, as against 8% of men), and this is largely due to the difficulties they face in reconciling their professional and private lives. This in turn very often leads to very significant pay and pension gaps between men and women. The current legal framework in the EU and in the Member States offers men few incentives to take on an equal share of family duties. These shortcomings must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Your rapporteur very much endorses the specific objectives set in the proposal for a directive, which involve in particular improving access to schemes which make it easier to reconcile professional and private life and encouraging more men to make use of family leave and flexible working arrangements. On that latter point, the level of pay offered to people on parental leave is an important consideration in ensuring fairness in the way that men and women take such leave. The gender gap in this regard is considerable, however, as parental leave pay is currently ridiculously low. The Commission proposal to bring parental leave pay up to the same level as sick pay is a step forward. What we need to keep in mind at all times and use as the guiding principle is child protection. Your rapporteur has no doubt that it is in a child’s best interests to be brought up and cared for by, and have the company of, both parents equally. She therefore takes the view that men and women should be put in a position to play an equal role in raising a family. This can be done by eliminating inequalities between women and men in paid and unpaid jobs, and by encouraging them to take an equal share of responsibility for work in the home and for caring for children and relatives who require assistance.

Due account needs to be taken of the requirements of and the constraints on employers, however – particularly in small companies made up of two or three people. Granting parental leave can put such companies in a very difficult position. For that reason, your rapporteur highlights the need to guarantee employers better protection, but also to prevent abuses of the system by workers absent for what they claim are urgent family reasons. With that aim in mind, the right to parental leave should be made contingent on the submission of supporting documents and completion of a minimum period of service of no more than nine months. Leave for carers should also be better regulated to protect employers against abuses of the system. At the same time, it is essential that workers wishing to care for a close relative be given the opportunity to establish a better work-life balance, so that they do not quit the job market once and for all.

Your rapporteur also stresses that the situation of parents of a child with a disability or a serious illness and instances of multiple births or adoptions have not been taken into account by the Commission. She takes the view that the option to double parental leave should be available in such cases.

The same should apply to single parents, who are constantly increasing in number and who cannot be ignored.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Proposal for a directive

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union the promotion of equality between women and men is one of the Union's aims. Similarly, Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires equality between women and men to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

(2)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the Union. According to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union the promotion of equality between women and men is one of the Union's aims. Similarly, Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union requires equality between women and men to be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. This Directive contributes to those objectives by eliminating disparities, strengthening gender equality, promoting a high level of employment and consolidating the Union’s social dimension, as well as boosting upward convergence in the Member States with regard to of social benefits.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a directive

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3)  Article 33 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union provides for the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child, to reconcile family and professional life.

(3)  Article 33 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter) provides for legal, economic and social protection of the family, the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child, to reconcile family and professional life.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a directive

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a)  People with disabilities should have the right to income support that ensures living in dignity, services that enable them to participate in the labour market and in society, as well as a work environment adapted to their needs.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a directive

Recital 4 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4b)  Equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men should be ensured and fostered in all areas, including participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. Women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a directive

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market, making it easier for men to share caring responsibilities on an equal basis with women, and closing gender gaps in earnings and pay. Such policies should take into account demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population.

(5)  Work-life balance policies should contribute to the achievement of gender equality by promoting the participation of women in the labour market and encouraging the participation and role of men in family life, in accordance with Article 24 of the Charter, which provides that every child is to have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with both parents unless that is contrary to the child’s interests, in favour of the fair sharing of responsibilities for bringing up and caring for children, thereby helping to close the gender gaps in earnings, pay and pensions. Such policies should take into account demographic changes including the effects of an ageing population. In that context, promoting a better work-life balance could represent an important incentive for increasing the birth-rate.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a directive

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a)  According to the data for October 2017 (Commission statistics), the male employment rate in the Union was 71,9 %, compared to the female employment rate of 61,4 %, despite the fact that women have a higher level of education.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  Work-life balance remains however a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A major factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market is the difficulty of balancing work and family obligations. When they have children, women tend to work less hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care responsibilities. Having an ill or dependent relative has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading some women to drop out of the labour market entirely.

(7)  The rise of the dual-earner household has led to work intensification and greater pressures on, and demands for, work-life balance. As a result, work-life balance remains a considerable challenge for many parents and workers with caring responsibilities, with a negative impact on female employment. A major factor contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the labour market is the difficulty of balancing work and family obligations. When they have children, elderly dependents or immediate relatives with incapacitating chronic diseases, women are obliged to work fewer hours in paid employment and spend more time fulfilling unpaid care responsibilities. This contributes substantially to the gender pay gap, which is as high as 28 % in certain Member States, and accumulates over the working life into a gender pension gap, which averages 40 % in the Union, and results in a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion for women. Having an ill or dependent relative has also been shown to have a negative impact on female employment, leading some women to drop out of the labour market in part or entirely.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a)  According to Eurofound data, over three million people have left full-time employment because of they lack facilities for childcare or care for dependent family members.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a directive

Recital 7 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7b)  Children should have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave in many Member States contributes to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men reinforces gender differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave or flexible working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment.

(8)  The current Union legal framework provides limited incentives for men to assume an equal share of caring responsibilities. There are no harmonised Union rules providing for paternity leave or leave to care for ill or dependent relatives, with the exception of absence for reasons of force majeure. Lack of paid paternity and parental leave in many Member States contributes to the low take-up of such leave by fathers. The imbalance or inadequacy in the design of work-life balance policies between women and men slows down growth, leads to a departure from the objectives of social inclusion, puts women at greater risk of poverty, especially in old age, and reinforces gender differences between work and care. Conversely, use of work-life balance arrangements by fathers, such as leave, sufficient incentives to avail themselves of such leave or flexible working arrangements, has been shown to have a positive impact in reducing the relative amount of unpaid family work undertaken by women and leaving them more time for paid employment and their social, economic and professional emancipation.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a directive

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8a)  Parents and other people with caring responsibilities should have the right to suitable leave, flexible working arrangements and access to care services. Women and men should have equal access to special leave of absence in order to fulfil their caring responsibilities and should be encouraged to use them in a balanced way.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a directive

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a)  It is important to achieve a balance between professional, private and family life by means of a broad approach which includes legislative and non-legislative action, such as effective incentives and measures, such as tax credits for childcare and for caring for people in need.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a directive

Recital 9 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9b)  The social partners should be consulted about the design and implementation of economic, employment and social policies according to national practices. They should be encouraged to negotiate and conclude collective agreements in matters relevant to them, while respecting their autonomy and their right to collective action.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a directive

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  It is appropriate to repeal and replace Directive 2010/18/EU which currently regulates parental leave by putting into effect a framework agreement concluded between the social partners. This Directive builds, in particular, upon the rules laid down in Directive 2010/18/EU and complements them by strengthening existing rights and by introducing new rights.

(10)  It is appropriate to repeal and replace Directive 2010/18/EU which currently regulates parental leave by putting into effect a framework agreement concluded between the social partners. This Directive builds, in particular, upon the rules laid down in Directive 2010/18/EU and complements them by strengthening existing rights and by introducing new rights. Nothing in the proposed Directive should be interpreted as diminishing previously existing rights pursuant to that Directive.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a directive

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements related to paternity, parental and carers' leave and to flexible working arrangements for parents and workers with caring responsibilities. By facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for parents and carers, this Directive should contribute to the Treaty-based goals of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities, equal treatment at work and the promotion of a high level of employment in the Union.

(11)  This Directive lays down minimum requirements related to paternity, parental and carers' leave and to flexible working arrangements for parents and workers with caring responsibilities, while respecting national rules on leave and flexible working arrangements that comply with the requirements of this Directive and enabling Member States and the social partners to determine the specific provisions thereof. The Directive fully respects the freedom and preferences of workers and families to organise their lives and does not impose on them any obligation to avail themselves of its provisions. If a wide margin of manoeuvre for decision-making is achieved at individual and national level, by facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for parents and carers, this Directive should contribute to the Treaty-based goals of equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities, equal treatment at work and the promotion of a high level of employment in the Union, as well as of a decent standard of living for workers and their families.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a directive

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12)  This Directive should apply to all workers who have employment contracts or other employment relationships. As is currently the case under Clause 2(3) of the Annex to Directive 2010/18/EU, this should include contracts relating to employment or employment relationships of part-time workers, fixed-term contract workers or persons with a contract of employment or employment relationship with a temporary agency.

(12)  This Directive should apply to all workers who have employment contracts or other employment relationships. As is currently the case under Clause 2(3) of the Annex to Directive 2010/18/EU, this should include contracts relating to employment or employment relationships of part-time workers, fixed-term or open-ended contract workers or persons with a contract of employment or employment relationship with a temporary agency.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a directive

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a)  The Directive prioritises the establishment of a good work-life balance without resorting to the introduction of precarious and atypical working conditions.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a directive

Recital 12 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12b)  This Directive aims to improve and strengthen the provisions concerning admissibility and regulatory certainty for the granting of parental leave to those with children with disabilities or serious long-term illnesses, especially in order to avoid arbitrary treatment regarding the granting of leave for the relevant age groups going beyond current provisions, the introduction of vouchers or special contributions to meet the costs of child care services.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a directive

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to encourage a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paternity leave for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law.

(13)  In order to encourage a more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men, the right to paternity leave for the second parent to be taken, if requested, on the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child should be introduced. In order to take account of differences among Member States, the right to paternity leave should be irrespective of marital or family status as defined in national law irrespective of the seniority or the nature of the employment contract.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a directive

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other.

(14)  As the majority of fathers do not avail themselves of their right to parental leave or transfer a considerable proportion of their leave entitlement to mothers, in order to foster a close early relationship with the child and encourage the second parent to take parental leave, this Directive, while maintaining the right of each parent to at least four months of parental leave currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, extends from one to four months the period of parental leave which cannot be transferred from one parent to the other.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a directive

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least twelve years old. Member States should be able to specify the period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave and to decide whether the right to parental leave may be subject to a certain period of service. In view of the growing diversity of contractual arrangements, the sum of successive fixed-term contracts with the same employer should be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the period of service. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also be able to decide whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave under certain circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification for the postponement. Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in particularly disadvantaged situations.

(15)  In order to provide greater possibility for parents to use parental leave as their children grow up, the right to parental leave should be granted until the child is at least thirteen years old. Member States should be able to specify the period of notice to be given by the worker to the employer when applying for parental leave. To balance the needs of workers with those of employers, Member States should also be able to decide whether they define if the employer may be allowed to postpone the granting of parental leave under certain circumstances. In such cases, the employer should provide justification in writing for the postponement. Given that flexibility makes it more likely that second parents, in particular fathers, will take up their entitlement to such leave, workers should be able to request to take parental leave on a full-time or part-time basis or in other flexible forms. It should be up to the employer whether or not to accept such a request for parental leave in other flexible forms than full-time. Member States should also assess if the conditions and detailed arrangements of parental leave should be adapted to the specific needs of parents in particularly disadvantaged situations (single parents, children with disabilities, serious illnesses).

Amendment    22

Proposal for a directive

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should be encouraged to maintain contact during the period of leave and may make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice

(16)  In order to facilitate the return to work following parental leave, workers and employers should make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, to be decided between the parties concerned, taking into account national law, collective agreements and practice

Amendment    23

Proposal for a directive

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18)  In addition to the right to carers' leave provided for in this Directive, all workers should maintain their right to take time off from work on the grounds of force majeure for urgent and unexpected family reasons, currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, under the conditions established by the Member States.

(18)  In addition to the right to carers' leave provided for in this Directive, all workers should maintain their right to take time off from work for urgent and unexpected family reasons, currently provided for by Directive 2010/18/EU, under the conditions established by the Member States.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a directive

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the allowance should be at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave. Member States should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including healthcare.

(19)  To increase the incentives for workers with children and caring responsibilities, men in particular, to take the periods of leave provided for in this Directive, they should have the right to an adequate allowance while on leave. The level of the allowance should be adequate and no less than the amount the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave. Member States should take into account the importance of the continuity of the entitlements to social security, including healthcare.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a directive

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, those workers should be able to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preferences. Working parents and carers should therefore be able to request flexible working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes. In order to address the needs of workers and employers, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of flexible working arrangements, including a reduction in working hours. While working part-time has been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. The ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for flexible working arrangements should lie with the employer. Specific circumstances underlying the need for flexible working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a given agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires.

(21)  In order to encourage working parents and carers to remain in the work force, employers should give them the possibility to adapt their working schedules to their personal needs and preference. Without abusing that right, working parents and carers should be able to request flexible working arrangements, meaning the possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules, or a reduction in working hours, for caring purposes. In order to address the needs of workers and employers and ensure that they are properly balanced, it should be possible for Member States to limit the duration of part-time work, giving priority to other flexible working arrangements. While working part-time has indeed been shown to be useful in allowing some women to remain in the labour market after having children or other family responsibilities, long periods of reduced working hours may lead to lower social security contributions translating into reduced or non-existing pension entitlements. The ultimate decision as to whether or not to accept a worker’s request for flexible working arrangements should lie with the employer. Specific circumstances underlying the need for flexible working arrangements can change. Workers should therefore not only have the right to return to their original working patterns at the end of a given agreed period, but should also be able to request to do so at any time where a change in the underlying circumstances so requires.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a directive

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request flexible working arrangements should be protected against discrimination or any less favourable treatment on that ground.

(23)  Workers exercising their rights to leave or to request flexible working arrangements should be protected against discrimination, retaliation or any less favourable treatment on that ground. Exercising one's right to leave or flexible working arrangements should not have adverse effects on the level of employment or other working conditions.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a directive

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request flexible working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such flexible working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal.

(24)  Workers exercising their rights to take leave or to request flexible working arrangements provided for in this Directive should enjoy protection from dismissal, pressures and mobbing to the detriment of the worker and any preparations for a possible dismissal on the grounds that they applied for, or have taken such leave or have exercised the right to request such flexible working arrangements. Where workers consider that they have been dismissed on those grounds, they should be able to ask the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a directive

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Directive lays down minimum requirements designed to achieve equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work through facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for working parents and carers.

This Directive lays down minimum requirements designed to achieve equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work in terms of social rights and pay through facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for working parents and carers.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a directive

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Directive applies to all workers, men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship.

This Directive applies to all workers, both men and women, who have an employment contract or employment relationship as defined in law, collective agreements and/or the practice applicable in each Member State.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  "paternity leave" means leave from work for fathers to be taken on the occasion of the birth of a child;

(a)  "paternity leave" means paid leave from work for the second parent to be taken on the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child;

Amendment    31

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  “parental leave” means leave from work on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child to take care of that child;

(b)  “parental leave” means paid leave from work on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child to take care of that child;

Amendment    32

Proposal for a directive

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point f a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fa)  ‘single parent’ means a person who is neither married nor in a partnership as recognised by national law, and who has the sole parental responsibility for a child.

Amendment    33

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that fathers have the right to take paternity leave of at least ten working days on the occasion of the birth of a child.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the second parent has the right to take mandatory paid paternity leave of at least fourteen working days on the occasion of the birth or adoption of a child, or at least fifteen days in the event of multiple births or adoptions.

Amendment    34

Proposal for a directive

Article 4 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  The right to paternity leave referred to in paragraph 1 shall be granted irrespective of the second parent’s length of service and the nature of the employment contract.

Amendment    35

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least four months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least twelve.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have an individual right to parental leave of at least six months to be taken before the child reaches a given age which shall be at least thirteen.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The length of parental leave shall be doubled for single parents.

Amendment    37

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Where Member States allow one parent to transfer their parental leave entitlement to the other parent, they shall ensure that at least four months of parental leave cannot be transferred.

2.  Where Member States allow one parent to transfer their parental leave entitlement to the other parent, they shall ensure that at least four months of parental leave cannot be transferred. The duration of parental leave shall be doubled for parents looking after a child with a disability or seriously illness.

Amendment    38

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed one year. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive 1999/70/EC21, with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

4.  Member States may make the right to parental leave subject to a period of work qualification or a length of service qualification which shall not exceed nine months. In the case of successive fixed-term contracts, within the meaning of Council Directive 1999/70/EC21, with the same employer, the sum of those contracts shall be compulsory taken into account for the purpose of calculating the qualifying period.

__________________

__________________

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

21 Council Directive of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP (OJ L 175, 10.7.1999, p.43).

Amendment    39

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a.  Workers shall be informed in writing at the start of employment about their rights and obligations resulting from the employment relationship, including during their probation period.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a directive

Article 5 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be adapted to the needs of adoptive parents, parents having a disability and parents with children with a disability or long-term illness.

7.  Member States shall assess the need for the conditions of access and detailed arrangements for the application of parental leave to be extended to meet the needs of adoptive parents, parents having a disability, single parents (single-parent families) and parents with children with a disability or serious long-term illness. In particular, for parents of children with a disability or serious illness, as certified in accordance the Member State’s health authorities, rejection of requests for parental leave shall be prohibited.

Amendment    41

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to carers' leave of at least five working days per year, per worker. Such right may be subject to appropriate substantiation of the medical condition of the worker's relative.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to paid carers' leave of at least seven working days per year, per worker. Such right shall be subject to appropriate substantiation of the medical condition of the worker's relative.

Amendment    42

Proposal for a directive

Article 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 6a

 

Leave for mothers and the second parent where they have a disability

 

The Member States shall guarantee that the length of types of leave described in this Directive is extendible by at least 50 % for mothers and the second parent where they have a disability.

Amendment    43

Proposal for a directive

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to time off from work on grounds of force majeure for urgent family reasons in cases of illness or accident making the immediate presence of the worker indispensable. Member States may limit the right to time off from work on grounds of force majeure to a certain amount of time per year or per case, or both.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers have the right to time off from work on grounds of force majeure for urgent family reasons in cases of illness or accident making the immediate presence of the worker indispensable. Member States may make the right to time off from work on grounds of force majeure conditional on the submission of evidence they consider to be appropriate.

Amendment    44

Proposal for a directive

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment or an adequate allowance at least equivalent to what the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave.

In accordance with national circumstances, such as national law, collective agreements and/or practice, and taking into account the powers delegated to social partners, Member States shall ensure that workers exercising the rights to leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 will receive a payment, a tax credit or an adequate allowance that is no less than the amount the worker concerned would receive in case of sick leave.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least twelve, and carers, have the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such flexible working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers with children up to a given age, which shall be at least thirteen, and carers, have the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes. The duration of such flexible working arrangements may be subject to a reasonable limitation.

Amendment    46

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Employers shall consider and respond to requests for flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify any refusal of such a request.

2.  Employers shall consider and respond in writing to requests for flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers. Employers shall justify in writing any refusal of such a request.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a directive

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  When flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. The worker shall also have the right to request to return to the original working pattern whenever a change of circumstances so justifies. Employers shall be obliged to consider and respond to such requests, taking into account the needs of both employers and workers.

3.  When flexible working arrangements referred to in paragraph 1 are limited in duration, the worker shall have the right to return to the original working pattern at the end of the agreed period. Provision shall also be made for a transitional protection period following the worker’s return to work in order to allow the worker an easier and more effective reintegration into professional life, bearing in mind that, during that protection period, the use of new technologies could help workers to move more quickly towards resuming work in a lasting, more agile manner, while updating their skills. The worker shall have the right to request to return to the original working pattern at the same level of employment. Employers shall justify in writing any refusal of such a request.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a directive

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or on the ground that they have exercised their right to flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit discrimination and less favourable treatment of workers on the ground that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6, or on the ground that they have exercised their right to flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9.

Amendment    49

Proposal for a directive

Article 12 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Workers who consider that they have been dismissed on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 or of exercising the right to request flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9 may request the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal. The employer shall provide those grounds in writing.

2.  Workers who consider that they have been dismissed on the grounds that they have applied for, or have taken, leave referred to in Article 4, 5 or 6 or of exercising the right to request flexible working arrangements referred to in Article 9 shall be entitled to request the employer to provide duly substantiated grounds for the dismissal. The employer shall be required to provide in due time those grounds in writing.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a directive

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall lay down rules on penalties applicable to breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. Member States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that those penalties are applied. Penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. They may take the form of a fine. They may also comprise payment of compensation.

Member States shall lay down rules on penalties applicable to breaches of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive or the relevant provisions already in force concerning the rights which are within the scope of this Directive. Member States shall take all measures necessary to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties are applied.

Amendment    51

Proposal for a directive

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall introduce measures necessary to protect workers, including workers who are employees' representatives, from any adverse treatment by the employer or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint lodged within the undertaking or any legal proceedings initiated with the aim of enforcing compliance with the rights provided for in this Directive.

Member States shall introduce measures necessary to protect workers from any adverse treatment by the employer or adverse consequences resulting from a complaint lodged within the undertaking or any legal proceedings initiated with the aim of enforcing compliance with the rights provided for in this Directive.

Amendment    52

Proposal for a directive

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that the body or bodies designated, pursuant to Article 20 of Directive 2006/54/EC, for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of parents and carers without discrimination on grounds of sex are also competent for issues falling within the scope of this Directive.

Without prejudice to the powers of the labour inspection services or other bodies, including social services, responsible for monitoring workers' rights, Member States shall ensure that the body or bodies designated, pursuant to Article 20 of Directive 2006/54/EC, for the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of parents and carers without discrimination on grounds of sex are also competent for issues falling within the scope of this Directive.

Amendment    53

Proposal for a directive

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that are more favourable to workers than those laid down in this Directive. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article 5(2).

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that are more favourable to workers than those laid down in this Directive, but shall not lower the standards laid down in their national legislation. They shall however ensure that at least four months of parental leave remain non-transferable in accordance with Article 5(2) and that the leave protection is mandatory for the parents of children with a disability and serious illnesses, as certified in accordance with the Member State’s health authorities.

Amendment    54

Proposal for a directive

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  At the latest, by five years after the entry into force of this Directive, Member States shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive necessary for the Commission to draw up a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive.

1.  By ... [three years after the entry into force of this Directive], Member States shall communicate to the Commission all relevant information concerning the application of this Directive and an in-depth evaluation of the effects of the Directive on female employment statistics, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Work-life balance for parents and carers

References

COM(2017)0253 – C8-0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

15.5.2017

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

JURI

15.5.2017

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Joëlle Bergeron

3.5.2017

Discussed in committee

9.10.2017

21.11.2017

21.2.2018

 

Date adopted

27.3.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Max Andersson, Joëlle Bergeron, Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Kostas Chrysogonos, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Enrico Gasbarra, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Heidi Hautala, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, António Marinho e Pinto, Emil Radev, Julia Reda, Evelyn Regner, Pavel Svoboda, Axel Voss, Francis Zammit Dimech, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Luis de Grandes Pascual, Pascal Durand, Angel Dzhambazki, Evelyne Gebhardt, Virginie Rozière, Rainer Wieland

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Mylène Troszczynski

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

19

+

ALDE

António Marinho e Pinto

EFDD

Joëlle Bergeron

GUE/NGL

Kostas Chrysogonos

PPE

Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Emil Radev, Pavel Svoboda, Axel Voss, Rainer Wieland, Francis Zammit Dimech

S&D

Enrico Gasbarra, Evelyne Gebhardt, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Evelyn Regner, Virginie Rozière

VERTS/ALE

Max Andersson, Pascal Durand, Julia Reda

2

-

ENF

Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Mylène Troszczynski

1

0

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Work-life balance for parents and carers

References

COM(2017)0253 – C8-0137/2017 – 2017/0085(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

27.4.2017

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

EMPL

15.5.2017

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

JURI

15.5.2017

FEMM

15.5.2017

 

 

Associated committees

       Date announced in plenary

FEMM

14.9.2017

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

David Casa

3.10.2017

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

23.1.2018

21.2.2018

27.3.2018

15.5.2018

Date adopted

11.7.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

14

4

Members present for the final vote

Laura Agea, Mara Bizzotto, Enrique Calvet Chambon, David Casa, Ole Christensen, Michael Detjen, Geoffroy Didier, Lampros Fountoulis, Elena Gentile, Arne Gericke, Marian Harkin, Czesław Hoc, Agnes Jongerius, Rina Ronja Kari, Ádám Kósa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Kostadinka Kuneva, Jean Lambert, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Javi López, Thomas Mann, Dominique Martin, Anthea McIntyre, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, Georgi Pirinski, Sofia Ribeiro, Robert Rochefort, Claude Rolin, Siôn Simon, Romana Tomc, Yana Toom, Ulrike Trebesius, Marita Ulvskog, Renate Weber, Jana Žitňanská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Maria Arena, Georges Bach, Lynn Boylan, Karima Delli, Tania González Peñas, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Paloma López Bermejo, António Marinho e Pinto, Ivari Padar, Evelyn Regner, Joachim Schuster, Csaba Sógor, Flavio Zanonato

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Maria Noichl, Francis Zammit Dimech

Date tabled

24.8.2018


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

34

+

ALDE

Enrique Calvet Chambon, Marian Harkin, António Marinho e Pinto, Robert Rochefort, Yana Toom, Renate Weber

ECR

Arne Gericke, Jana Žitňanská

EFDD

Laura Agea

ENF

Mara Bizzotto

PPE

Georges Bach, David Casa, Geoffroy Didier, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Claude Rolin, Francis Zammit Dimech

S&D

Maria Arena, Michael Detjen, Elena Gentile, Agnes Jongerius, Javi López, Maria Noichl, Ivari Padar, Georgi Pirinski, Evelyn Regner, Joachim Schuster, Siôn Simon, Marita Ulvskog, Flavio Zanonato

VERTS/ALE

Karima Delli, Jean Lambert, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs

14

-

ECR

Czesław Hoc, Anthea McIntyre, Ulrike Trebesius

ENF

Dominique Martin

GUE/NGL

Rina Ronja Kari

NI

Lampros Fountoulis

PPE

Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Ádám Kósa, Jeroen Lenaers, Thomas Mann, Sofia Ribeiro, Csaba Sógor, Romana Tomc

S&D

Ole Christensen

4

0

GUE/NGL

Lynn Boylan, Tania González Peñas, Kostadinka Kuneva, Paloma López Bermejo

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 29 August 2018Legal notice