Earlier this month, the EU’s Work-Life Balance Directive entered into force. The Directive introduces legislation which aims to better support a work-life balance for parents and carers, encourage a more equal sharing of parental leave between men and women, and address women’s underrepresentation in the labour market.

It aims to improve not only work-life balance but also contribute to an increase in women’s employment and families’ economic stability. Member States now have three years to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive.

The European Pillar of Social Rights (of which Eurodiaconia was involved in its establishment and continues to actively push for full implementation of its ambitions) contains a principle aimed at improving the work-life balance of parents and people with caring responsibilities. This Directive specifically aims to help working parents and carers by not obliging them to make a choice between their family lives and their professional careers. The Directive sets minimum standards to create more convergence between EU Member States, by preserving and extending existing rights. In addition, the European Union will support Member States in adopting measures to ensure accessible, affordable and quality formal care services.

Specific measures in the Directive include: the introduction of paternity leave compensated at least at the level of sick pay; ensuring that two out of the four months of parental leave are non-transferable between parents; the introduction of carers’ leave of five days per year; and an extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements to carers and working parents of children up to eight years old.

Eurodiaconia remains active in keeping the discussion around the EPSR alive through participation in debates, trainings for its members and a yearly monitoring exercise of the implementation of the EPSR. Dedicated webinars on each chapter of the Pillar are open to everyone and regional trainings aim to ensure that its members improve their knowledge and capacity about the EPSR.



To view Eurodiaconia’s latest webinar on the EPSR, watch our video online.