Better work-life balance for EU citizens: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with the European Parliament

PRESS RELEASE
Better work-life balance for EU citizens: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with the European Parliament

The European Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) applauds as a first step the provisional agreement reached by the Romanian Presidency and the European Parliament, although the agreement falls short of the initial proposal of the Commission from 2017.

EWLA supports strongly Commissioner Marianne Thyssen’s vision and mission to create real opportunities for equality within the European Union. According to the European Commossion, "the overall employment rate of women is still 11.5 pp lower than that of men. 31.1% of working women work part-time vs. 8.2% of working men. This is especially the case for those with children. Just over 57.4% of women work full-time, compared to 75.5% of men. Therefore the full-time employment rate gap reaches 18 pp. Caring responsibilities are reasons for inactivity for almost 31% of inactive women, while this is only the case for 4.5% of men".

EWLA wants to support any legislative action that closes the gaps on parental rights between EU Member States. At the moment, there are still 11 Member States1 that do not recognise the right to 10 working days of paternity leave around the time of birth of the child, 16 Member States2 are without a period of leave reserved for fathers and 15 Member States3 don’t offer well-paid parental leave.

EWLA President, Katharina Miller states: “EWLA was not very satisfied with the outcome of the Council (EPSCO) 0n 21 June 2018 on the Work-Life-Balance Directive. Now at least fathers are the winners of the game. We do understand that there are still many gaps between Member States and closing these takes time. We encourage the paternity and parental leave champions in Member States to talk about their best practices and pass their knowlegde on to others; and at the same time, to work even harder to maintain their status quo or, better yet, to go even further in order to reach a better quality of life for men and women in the European Union.”

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