COFACE Families Europe: The new EU Work Life Balance Directive presents solutions to empower women and contribute to gender equality

On this International Women’s Day 2018, COFACE Families Europe presents the EU Work-Life Balance Directive as one of the solutions to empower women and contributing to gender equality.

European women still face today many difficulties in relation to their work-life balance:

  1. Women are the ones adjusting their working arrangements to care for children, persons with disabilities and the elderly. Where are the men?
  2. Women are more likely to take leaves, work part-time or withdraw from the labour market. It’s time to change old habits!
  3. The lack of childcare forces mothers to stay at home even if they would like to go back to work. We need more services!
  4. Work-life balance is essential to promote the employment of women. Let’s make it a reality!
  5. Part-time work is not always a choice for women: for many it is the only possibility to have some work-life balance.
  6. Have you heard about the “motherhood penalty”? Young women are still discriminated at work because of their potential motherhood.
  7. Including women’s needs in all policies is the way to achieve a fair and sustainable economy!
  8. The salary of women decreases by 12% approximately after each birth. The gender pay gap widens significantly after each child.

The EU Work Life Balance Directive can help overcome such difficulties by ensuring minimum standards across the EU on paternity leave, parental leave, carers leave and flexible work arrangements for working parents and working carers.

On 26 April 2017, the European Commission proposed as part of the Social Pillar of Social Rights a Directive to “support work-life balance for parents and carers”, currently debated in the Council of the European Union and in the European Parliament.

The coming months under the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU will be decisive for this important legislative proposal. COFACE Families Europe, together with an alliance of European NGOs [including Social Platform], has been calling for such an initiative for a number of years. This proposal could have a real impact not only for parents and for people providing and receiving support on a daily basis, but also and especially for women.

“We believe that the new EU Work Life Balance Directive presents solutions to empower women at work and involve men at home. A swift adoption of this directive will close the “care gap” promoting both gender equality in the labour market and in the family”, says COFACE Families Europe’s President Annemie Drieskens.

Swift approval of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive will be a first concrete example of how to build a more Social and family friendly Europe.

Full article.