The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached on Thursday, January 24, 2019, a provisional political agreement on the Work-Life Balance Directive for Parents and Carers. The agreement must also be approved by the member states of the EU Council.
“The directive encourages women’s participation in the labor market and an equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men in the family and also contributes to reducing gender pay gap. The political agreement is a real success at EU level in terms of social policies and provides a package of concrete rights for European citizens” says Minister of Labor and Social Justice, Marius Budăi.
The purpose of the directive is to improve access for the working parents and caregivers to the labor market and introduces minimum EU-wide standards for parental leave, paternity leave, caregivers’ holidays and flexible working arrangements.
Thus, in order to encourage the sharing of family responsibilities after the birth of a child, families will be able to benefit from a minimum period of parental leave, of which part will be non-transferable and a part paid at the same level as in the case of insured maternity leave by national legislation.
In order to support those responsible for caring for relatives, who are often women and who face negative effects in terms of their participation in the labor market, this directive will provide an annual minimum leave for workers.
Workers will also have the right to call for flexible work arrangements. This measure has been shown to have a positive impact on employees, giving them the opportunity to have more control over the time and place they spend on the tasks.