Our assessment of the EU work-life balance directive published in March has been used to trigger discussions in different circles and at different levels. COFACE members are now invited to assess the impact of the directive in their respective countries. This directive is an opportunity to review family policies through the lens of contemporary society, ensuring adequate payment and take-up of family leaves, acknowledging the diversity of families and their needs, supporting investment in care services (ECEC and LTC), rethinking work arrangements with the support of social partners, and more.
COFACE member in Spain, Unión de Asociaciones Familiares (UNAF), used the international day of families (15th May) to issue a press release about the directive as a positive step to consolidate minimum standards for Europe. While paternity leave standards are higher in Spain, the directive will contribute some advances such as paid and non-transferable parental leave of two months for each parent and five days per year for the care of sick or dependent relatives. UNAF urged Spanish political parties to make reconciliation of work and family life, and co-responsibility in the family, a priority for the future. “The lack of reconciliation is a major problem in our country as it directly affects the decision on whether or not to form a family, the number of children, their education, job opportunities and the welfare of families, especially women, who are the ones who continue to take care of the majority,” said Ascensión Iglesias, President of UNAF. UNAF will closely monitor transposition of the directive in Spain, and will continue advocating for public policies that promote free education for 0 to 3 years, more flexible working hours, support for dependency, as well as policies that take into account family diversity and provide concrete measures to meet the specific needs of some family models, such as single-parent families.
See full UNAF Spain statement here: UNAF reclama medidas de conciliación para hacer posible la vida familiar en el Día Internacional de las Familias