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Work-life balance for parents and carers

25-09-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 26 April 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The proposal is a follow-up to the withdrawal of the Commission's proposal to revise Council Directive 92/85/EEC (the Maternity Leave Directive). After the withdrawal, the Commission announced its intention to prepare a new initiative with ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 26 April 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The proposal is a follow-up to the withdrawal of the Commission's proposal to revise Council Directive 92/85/EEC (the Maternity Leave Directive). After the withdrawal, the Commission announced its intention to prepare a new initiative with a broader approach. The European Parliament has called in its resolutions for a comprehensive proposal from the Commission on work-life balance. In line with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Commission conducted a two-stage consultation with the social partners on work-life balance. There was no agreement among social partners to enter into direct negotiations to conclude an EU level agreement. A roadmap for the new initiative was published in August 2015 and the initiative was included in the Commission's 2017 work programme within the framework of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Commission's proposal for a directive is part of a package of measures aiming to address women's underrepresentation in employment by improving conditions to reconcile work and family duties. The proposal builds on existing EU legislation (especially Directive 2010/18/EU on parental leave), policies and best practices of the Member States in the area of work-life balance.

Maternity, paternity and parental leave in the EU

06-03-2017

The EU has been working on reforming family leave policies in Member States since the 1980s. Its efforts resulted in two currently valid directives: the 1992 Maternity Leave Directive and the 2010 Parental Leave Directive. Even though EU Member States’ transposition of the current directives has been mostly satisfactory technically, in 2015 the Commission announced a package on work-life balance which would replace the current legislation. The rationale for the new package is increasing female labour ...

The EU has been working on reforming family leave policies in Member States since the 1980s. Its efforts resulted in two currently valid directives: the 1992 Maternity Leave Directive and the 2010 Parental Leave Directive. Even though EU Member States’ transposition of the current directives has been mostly satisfactory technically, in 2015 the Commission announced a package on work-life balance which would replace the current legislation. The rationale for the new package is increasing female labour participation, bringing gender balance to care activities now predominantly performed by women, and improving negative demographic trends. The current legislative framework has been evaluated as inadequate to deal with these challenges. While the content of the Commission proposal is not yet fully known, an analysis of the current situation may shed light on the direction of change, as well as the obstacles that the new proposal may face. Even though Member States have transposed the current directives, they have also been given much freedom in deciding on elements which may be crucial in achieving the aims of the new Commission proposal. Why Member States decided to implement certain elements over others depends on their cultural, social and economic situations, which, according to experts, play a significant role in deciding policies of that type and may also influence the new proposal.

Maternity and paternity leave in the EU

15-12-2016

This infographic aims to present the current state of affairs of maternity and paternity leave in EU Member States. Maternity leave policies in EU Member States are governed by the 1992 Pregnant Workers Directive. After an unsuccessful attempt to introduce a new maternity leave directive, the Commission has announced a new, more holistic package as a replacement.

This infographic aims to present the current state of affairs of maternity and paternity leave in EU Member States. Maternity leave policies in EU Member States are governed by the 1992 Pregnant Workers Directive. After an unsuccessful attempt to introduce a new maternity leave directive, the Commission has announced a new, more holistic package as a replacement.

Gender Equality Policies in Spain - Update

15-12-2016

While gender equality policies have been institutionalized and consolidated in Spain until 2008, the 2009-2016 period shows backlash provoked by austerity policies adopted in response to the economic crisis. Institutional dismantlement, budget cuts, legislative standstill, policy reforms with negative gender impacts, and problems of implementation indicate an uncertain future for gender equality policies in Spain. This study maps developments in Spanish gender equality institutions, laws, and policies ...

While gender equality policies have been institutionalized and consolidated in Spain until 2008, the 2009-2016 period shows backlash provoked by austerity policies adopted in response to the economic crisis. Institutional dismantlement, budget cuts, legislative standstill, policy reforms with negative gender impacts, and problems of implementation indicate an uncertain future for gender equality policies in Spain. This study maps developments in Spanish gender equality institutions, laws, and policies, including employment, care, political and economic decision-making, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive rights.

Autor extern

Emanuela LOMBARDO (Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)

Preparing a Harmonized Maternity Leave for Members of the European Parliament - Legal Analysis

20-04-2016

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, the Policy Department has examined the Member States' different national legislations for maternity or parental leave for national members of Parliament. Furthermore, the rules concerning absence and leave for Members of the European Parliament have also been explored. The overview of the European and national rules provide insights in the different ways how maternity or parental leave is regulated for members of parliament at both levels. It concludes that the ...

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, the Policy Department has examined the Member States' different national legislations for maternity or parental leave for national members of Parliament. Furthermore, the rules concerning absence and leave for Members of the European Parliament have also been explored. The overview of the European and national rules provide insights in the different ways how maternity or parental leave is regulated for members of parliament at both levels. It concludes that the provisions of the European Electoral Act prohibit presently the introduction of rules for maternity or parental leave with a possibility of temporary replacement for MEPs.

Trends in female employment

26-10-2015

Statistics and research results show that over the past decade, despite the economic and financial downturn, the EU's labour market has witnessed an increase in women's employment rates. Women's employment seems to be more resilient to the economic crisis then men's. This is partly due to long-term developments and institutional framework changes, as well as to women's tendency to work in particular sectors and accept flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time work, teleworking). Despite the general ...

Statistics and research results show that over the past decade, despite the economic and financial downturn, the EU's labour market has witnessed an increase in women's employment rates. Women's employment seems to be more resilient to the economic crisis then men's. This is partly due to long-term developments and institutional framework changes, as well as to women's tendency to work in particular sectors and accept flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time work, teleworking). Despite the general upward trend, however, women's employment rates vary by Member State, age, social group, and educational level. Even though international and EU legislation takes account of women's situation in the labour market, and the EU dedicates a substantial amount of analytical work to it, a number of challenges remain unresolved. Examples include the need to harmonise retirement schemes taking into account specific characteristics of women's careers; to better reconcile work and family life through more flexible employment arrangements; but the improvement and recognition of women's skills, the equal treatment of domestic work and migrant workers, and the further closing of the gender pay gap are likewise important.

The Policy on Gender Equality in Ireland - Update 2015

14-09-2015

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this paper explores changes in gender equality legislation, policies and practices in Ireland with particular emphasis on the period from 2012-2015. Gender equality infrastructure, gender gaps in employment, unemployment, poverty and pay rates are analysed and women’s level of participation in political, economic and administrative decision-making in Ireland is detailed. Provision of childcare services, as well as the extent to which gender dimensions are taken ...

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this paper explores changes in gender equality legislation, policies and practices in Ireland with particular emphasis on the period from 2012-2015. Gender equality infrastructure, gender gaps in employment, unemployment, poverty and pay rates are analysed and women’s level of participation in political, economic and administrative decision-making in Ireland is detailed. Provision of childcare services, as well as the extent to which gender dimensions are taken into account in health and welfare policies, are also examined.

Gender equality in employment and occupation. European Implementation Assessment

29-05-2015

The principle of equal pay is anchored in the EEC founding Treaty of 1957. Directive 2006/54/EC was a recast of secondary law dating back to 1975 pursuing gender equality in (access to) employment and it ‘consolidated’ case law in this area developed by the European Court of Justice. This European Implementation Assessment is based on input received from four independent groups of experts (included as annexes) on different aspects of the application of the Recast Directive: legal aspects and in ...

The principle of equal pay is anchored in the EEC founding Treaty of 1957. Directive 2006/54/EC was a recast of secondary law dating back to 1975 pursuing gender equality in (access to) employment and it ‘consolidated’ case law in this area developed by the European Court of Justice. This European Implementation Assessment is based on input received from four independent groups of experts (included as annexes) on different aspects of the application of the Recast Directive: legal aspects and in particular direct and indirect discrimination; proper consideration of the role of job evaluation and classification systems; necessary protection of pregnancy and the role of maternity leave and related schemes in view of gender equality at work and for careers. The assessment concludes that there is a very strong case for immediate and vigorous actions at EU level, going beyond voluntary measures, in line with EP resolutions.  

Revision of the Maternity Leave Directive

11-05-2015

In December 2014, the Commission gave the Parliament and the Council a further six months to reach agreement on the proposal to revise the Maternity Leave Directive. If no agreement has been reached in that period, the Commission plans to withdraw the proposal. Those six months are now about to expire, yet little progress has been made so far

In December 2014, the Commission gave the Parliament and the Council a further six months to reach agreement on the proposal to revise the Maternity Leave Directive. If no agreement has been reached in that period, the Commission plans to withdraw the proposal. Those six months are now about to expire, yet little progress has been made so far

Advancing gender equality in the EU

02-03-2015

International Women's Day provides an opportunity to take stock of progress towards gender equality, and 2015 is a pivotal year in this regard. At global level, it marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, which set ambitious targets for advancing women’s rights. As well as reviewing these initiatives, the EU is assessing its own ongoing efforts to promote gender equality, one of its founding values, looking ...

International Women's Day provides an opportunity to take stock of progress towards gender equality, and 2015 is a pivotal year in this regard. At global level, it marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, which set ambitious targets for advancing women’s rights. As well as reviewing these initiatives, the EU is assessing its own ongoing efforts to promote gender equality, one of its founding values, looking to a new Strategy for equality between women and men beyond 2015.

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