COFACE Families Europe has been pushing the EU for years now to recognise the social, economic and demographic needs of our societies to meet the pressing challenge of work-life balance, calling on the EU to recognise the current societal shift in parenting and working roles.
On April 26, the European Commission released the long-awaited European Pillar of Social Rights, in the form of a European Commission Recommendation listing key principles for driving the future EU social policy agenda. One of these principles focuses on Work-Life Balance. It consists of a first ever comprehensive package of legislative and non-legislative measures to promote the work-life balance of families, with a view to “modernise the existing European Union legal and policy framework to support better work-life balance for men and women with caring responsibilities and a more equal use of leave and flexible work arrangements”.
The shift of families towards more dual earners with dual, or multiple carer needs is leading to new 21st century challenges for families such as reconciling family and work and the need for modernised 21st century family policies focusing on a reconciliation policy mix of Resources – Time – Services. It is clear from the package of measures published that the European Union is making a first attempt finally to respond concretely to the needs of families.