Work Life Balance Update #IwantWorkLifeBalance

Update on COFACE actions on Work Life Balance – December 2017

The month of December is a short month that runs fast, everyone is looking forward to closing all pending files and lock their offices for the winter break. Nevertheless, the Work-Life Balance Directive continued its path towards becoming EU law, and COFACE and allies continued their actions to bring to the surface the benefits that such a law would bring to families across the EU. Furthermore, the European Commission will release soon a proposal to review the so-called “written statement” directive, that we will have to monitor closely as it will have a potential to enhance the impact of the Work-Life Balance directive (watch this space for more news in January).

  • On 1 December the Committee of the Regions adopted its opinion, expressing a general support to the Directive (see here).
  • On 6 December the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) also adopted an opinion in support of the directive. COFACE contributed to this opinion as expert to the group III and is glad that the final vote of the EESC Plenary takes into account and stresses all key features that would bring change: an introduction of paternity and carers’ leave, a substantial improvement of parental leave with its non-transferability and, above all, recognizing that all these leave schemes, to be effective, must be paid. COFACE welcomes also the recognition that “While the EESC acknowledges that implementing the proposals will entail costs for the Member States and businesses, it is confident that the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term increased costs.” (see here).
  • On 6 December COFACE, together with AGE Platform Europe, European Women’s Lobby, ENIL-European Network on Independent Living, Mental Health Europe, IF Spina Bifida, Make Mothers Matter and Social Platform met with the European Parliament Shadow Rapporteurs from the Greens/EFA MEP Tatjana Zdanoka and MEP Ernest Urtasun and GUE/NGL MEP Tania Gonzales Penas.
  • On 7 December 10 NGOs (AGE Platform Europe, COFACE Families Europe, ENIL-European Network on Independent Living, Eurocarers, European Youth Forum, European Women’s Lobby, IF Spina Bifida, Mental Health Europe, Make Mothers Matter and Social Platform) published a joint statement to call for swift progress on Work-Life Balance Directive at EPSCO Council (read joint statement).
  • On 11 December COFACE and a delegation of NGOs (European Women’s Lobby, ENIL, Mental Health Europe, Make Mothers Matter and Social Platform) met with a representative of the upcoming Bulgarian presidency to present our views on the Work-Life Balance Directive and listen to the plans of the upcoming Presidency.

What to expect from early 2018? The institutional discussion will enter its key moments. Major steps towards the approval will be the discussion starting in Parliament in February (ending in summer) and a position by the Council expected by Spring.

During this month the number of joint actions grew and this shows how civil society stands together behind this directive, underlining once more how benefits outnumber costs for a wide public.

Read more about the #IwantWorkLifebalance campaign