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MODULE 5 - Unit 5



In Support of Women’s Work-Life Balance

Women Work-Life Balance: the EU policiesCertainly, in the last few year the issue of women’s work-life balance has taken more and more relevance both on a policy level and in the public consciousness. All the countries we discussed have, in the past few years, taken steps towards creating a more equitable state of things, but if the statistics we mentioned are anything to go by, there’s still much to be done. Let us focus on what has been done already so that we may look to the future with a clearer idea on what further policies we may implement to truly bridge the gender gap. Ever since 2011 gender equality has been added to the justice portfolio, highlighting it as being part of a broader policy of fundamental rights.

Work-Life Balance InitiativeOn a European level it exists a Work-Life Balance initiative aimed at modernizing the existing EU legal framework; this they would do by:

  • Introducing a paternity leave which, as we already mentioned, would help parents share the difficulties of child-rearing instead of leaving them uniquely, on this front, on women’s shoulders. Fathers/equivalent second parents will be able to take at least 10 working days of paternity leave, compensate at the level of sick pay.
  • Introducing carer’s leave for workers providing personal care or support to relative or person living in the same household (5 days a year); which would positively affect women as we have seen they’re the ones who predominantly end up in these roles.
  • Extension of the existing right to request flexible working arrangements (reduced working hours, flexible working hours and flexibility in place of work) to all working parents of children up to at least 8 years old, and all carers.



In support of legislative proposal the initiative contains a set of non-legislative measurers, including:

  • Ensuring protection against discrimination and dismissal for parents and careers
  • Encouraging a gender-balanced use of family-related leaves and flexible working arrangements
  • Making better use of European funds to improve provision of formal care services
Removing economic disincentives for second earners which prevent women from accessing the labour market or working full-time.


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