The month of April has seen progress on the Work-Life Balance (WLB) Directive. This Directive is the first proposal that follows the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in November 2017, which aims to develop a robust social dimension of the EU.
Concerning the approval of the Directive by the EU institutions, the European Parliament adopted it in its Plenary Session last 4th April with a landslide majority of 490 in favour, 82 against and 48 abstentions. The Secretariat and Uno, our penguin, attended the voting time at the European Parliament and published updates on COFACE’s Twitter account. You can consult this using the #iwantworklifebalance hashtag. This is great news for all the COFACE members and network! It was a road full of hurdles but we (partly) got what we wanted.
Furthermore, the translations of the Work-Life Balance Directive in the different EU languages are already available. This can help to make your own assessments in your language. You can find them in the below link:
However, be careful, all what you need to do is shifting from EN to the letters of your national language. eg: FR for French, DE for German, ES for Spanish, IT for Italian, NL for Dutch and so on…
On 8th May, COFACE and its members will meet in Barcelona to discuss the Work-Life Balance Directive, its transposition in Member States to push for upward reforms in policies to support families, and Work-life balance Part 2: the future priorities and COFACE’s potential actions under the next European Commission.
Last but not least, here are some reaction from our members on the adoption of the work-life balance directive.
AGF (Germany): AGF in partnership with German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Federal Forum Men (Bundesforum Männer), National Council of German Women’s Organizations (Deutscher Frauenrat) and Zukunftsforum Familie published a joint statement. They welcome the directive for a social Europe, but criticises that there are no incentives for further development in Germany. Read more here.
KFÖ (Austria): The EU takes course towards family friendliness! headlines a press release of KFÖ. The Austrian organisation prizes the new achievements for families and also appeal to fathers to not miss the role of their life and share the upbringing in partnership. Read more here.
UNAF France (France): One of our key experts on work-life balance, Yvon Serieyx; had the possibility to talk about the work-life balance directive, and the situation in France concerning parental leave on the radio show Europe 1. He mentions that ten years ago, about a quarter of all parents were on parental leave. Today, there are only 14% and only 7% full-time. Listen to the full broadcast here.