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A new directive on work-life balance

02-04-2019

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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.

Parental Leave Directive

12-05-2017

For several years, EU policies have been aimed at improving the working and living conditions of working parents and ensuring better reconciliation of their professional and private life. Different pieces of legislation promote the rights of working parents, such as Council Directive 92/85/EEC (Maternity Leave Directive), protecting pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, and Council Directive 2010/18/EU (Parental Leave Directive), establishing the leave conditions ...

For several years, EU policies have been aimed at improving the working and living conditions of working parents and ensuring better reconciliation of their professional and private life. Different pieces of legislation promote the rights of working parents, such as Council Directive 92/85/EEC (Maternity Leave Directive), protecting pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, and Council Directive 2010/18/EU (Parental Leave Directive), establishing the leave conditions for male and female workers. In 2008, the European Commission submitted a new legislative proposal, seeking to modify the provisions of the Maternity Leave Directive. Given that after more than four years the co-legislators had still not been able to reach an agreement, the European Commission decided to withdraw the proposal in 2015. A further initiative was submitted in early 2017 within the European Pillar of Social Rights, this time seeking to repeal the Parental Leave Directive and to encourage a better work-life balance. It is the Parental Leave Directive that is the subject of this appraisal.

Gender equality policies in Slovakia

14-04-2017

The Slovak Republic addresses equality between women and men both in its national legislation and relevant strategic materials and documents. With the aim to strengthen institutional support for women and development of effective policies and programmes, the Slovak republic made necessary changes in legislation and adjusted policies to better facilitate creation of conditions for effective implementation of systematic measures at the institutional level. These have been essential in the effort to ...

The Slovak Republic addresses equality between women and men both in its national legislation and relevant strategic materials and documents. With the aim to strengthen institutional support for women and development of effective policies and programmes, the Slovak republic made necessary changes in legislation and adjusted policies to better facilitate creation of conditions for effective implementation of systematic measures at the institutional level. These have been essential in the effort to achieve gender equality and eliminate gender inequalities in the society.

Externý autor

Silvia PORUBANOVA, Institute for Labour and Family Research

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.

Externý autor

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

Parental Leave Directive: Towards a revision?

02-05-2016

In the European Union, parental leave is regulated by a 1996 Directive, last amended in 2013. The implementation of this Directive varies greatly among Member States and parental leave overlaps other types of leaves granted to families. The European Parliament is expected to call for an evaluation of its implementation and for revision of both the Directive and related legislation.

In the European Union, parental leave is regulated by a 1996 Directive, last amended in 2013. The implementation of this Directive varies greatly among Member States and parental leave overlaps other types of leaves granted to families. The European Parliament is expected to call for an evaluation of its implementation and for revision of both the Directive and related legislation.

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.

Differences in Men's and Women's Work, Care and Leisure Time

15-03-2016

The economic crisis has profoundly affected the labour market and private life of men and women. This study examines the interrelation of policies with the ways women and men allocate time to paid work, care and leisure and the gendered outcomes produced in different socio-economic and cultural settings. It shows that policies are powerful tools which contribute to a better work-life balance and transform gender roles in accordance to the targets of EU2020 strategy and EU28 commitment to gender equality ...

The economic crisis has profoundly affected the labour market and private life of men and women. This study examines the interrelation of policies with the ways women and men allocate time to paid work, care and leisure and the gendered outcomes produced in different socio-economic and cultural settings. It shows that policies are powerful tools which contribute to a better work-life balance and transform gender roles in accordance to the targets of EU2020 strategy and EU28 commitment to gender equality.

Externý autor

Konstantina DAVAKI (Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, the UK)

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