Source: Schengen Visa Info
As of August 2nd, all European Union Member States will have to apply the EU-wide rules to improve work-life balance for parents and carers that were adopted in 2019.
“Men and women alike deserve an equal chance to take parental leave and carers’ leave, as well as equal opportunities to be part of and thrive in the labor market,”
According to the EU Commission, the new rules set out minimum standards for paternity, parental and carers’ leave as well as establish additional rights, including the right to request flexible working arrangements, which will help people develop family life and careers without having to sacrifice either.
The Directive on work-life balance aims to increase the participation of women in the labor market and the take-up of family-related leave and flexible working arrangements, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
It has been revealed that these new rules were introduced due to the fact that women’s employment rate in the EU is 10.8 percent lower than men's. Additionally, only 68 percent of women with care responsibilities work compared to 81 percent of men with the same duties.
“The EU Work-Life Balance Directive encourages men and women to share parenting and caring responsibilities better. Men and women alike deserve an equal chance to take parental leave and carers’ leave, as well as equal opportunities to be part of and thrive in the labor market,” Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said.
The Commission explains that the Directive allows workers leave to take care of relatives who need support and overall means that carers and parents are able to reconcile professional and private lives.
In line with the new rules working fathers are entitled to at least ten working days of paternity leave around the child’s time of birth. The paternity leave must be compensated at least at the level of sick pay.
Moreover, the rules set out that each parent has the right to take t least four months of parental leave, of which two months are paid and non-transferable. Parents are able to choose to take their leave in a flexible form; full-time, part-time, or in segments.
In addition, in line with the new rules, all workers providing care or support to a person living in the same household or a relative have the right to at least five working days of carers’ leave per year.
“Introducing carers’ leave is an important step that shows that the EU cares for its citizens in all stages of life. As a society, we must care about caring,” Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica said.
As for working parents with children of up to eight years old and carers, it has been said that they have the right to request flexible working hours, reduced working hours, and flexibility in the place of work.
Member States are now required to transpose the Directive into national law. In the next step, the Commission will assess if every state has followed these measures and take action if and where necessary.