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European Reconciliation Package: Paving the way forward for effective work-life policies


3 March 2015, Brussels – COFACE is launching today the European Reconciliation Package, a unique policy document, as it covers the entire European Union, as well applies a systemic approach to the complex issue of work-life balance, to both its related challenges and possible solutions. It is the main policy outcome of the 2014 Year of Reconciling Work and Family Life in Europe.

Over the past years COFACE observed an increased preoccupation of European families with the challenges of balancing their family life and work responsibilities. Increased childcare costs, limited places, long commutes, hectic schedules coupled with job-insecurities mean that working parents and carers are finding it increasingly difficult to find long-term solutions that serve the interest off all family members.

COFACE spent the past years cataloguing the problems faced by families, and analyzing and collecting inspiring practices and legal instruments at regional, national and EU level, as well as workplace solutions that work for all – not only working parents with small children.

COFACE is very proud to present today the product of all this work –the European Reconciliation Package, that we hope will inspire many policy makers, employers, legislators in improving the working conditions, legal environment and care solutions for families in Europe. The cooperation among the 2014 Alliance (*) partners ensured the broad coverage of both countries and sectors, and greatly contributed to the high quality of the final outcome.

This package highlights different policies and practices developed at local and national level that can support families in reconciling their work, family and care responsibilities. It reflects on the challenges and opportunities and presents recommendations  of what needs to be done at EU and national level to empower families, and ultimately contributing to gender and pay equality, increased employment, improved childcare and care infrastructure and better wellbeing overall.

The European Reconciliation Package analyses four main areas: Reconciling for carers, Women’s employment and the potential of reconciliation, Reconciling at the Workplace and Childcare solutions and education. For each area, a legislative and policy background outlines the current situation and some recommendation are putting forward as well as a number of existing practices in Europe.

Next steps:

COFACE will continue an on-going awareness raising campaign on this very complex issue, to fulfil the commitment made at the beginning of the campaign: to make a real difference in the lives of families. We will also continue the advocacy work stimulating the design and implementation of effective reconciliation policies (and legal framework) and the development of measures that are needed by all workers, regardless of their age, gender or family status.

COFACE and the 2014 Alliance together with social partners, national governments and other stakeholders will address this package to the European Commission and the European Parliament to translate it into concrete actions.

Download the European Reconciliation Package in English, French, Spanish and Italian.




For further information, please contact:
Ana Pérez, Communication manager   aperez@coface-eu.org   +322 500 56 93

Note to the editor
COFACE is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families. COFACE’s areas of work include social/family policy, education, disability, gender equality, migration, consumer issues, and also protection of children online, privacy, data protection and reflections on technological developments and how they may impact families. More: www.coface-eu.org

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