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MODULE 6 - Unit 2

WORK LIFE BALANCE & European dimension


An initiative to support WLB Initiative

The EU Commission, public authorities, social partners and other stakeholders, for the development and implementation of tools, at EU-level, decided to find out the views of citizens in support of work-life balance; they launched two public consultations, one in 2015 and the other in 2016. Also, thanks to these consultations, in 2017 it issued a Communication.What is the Communication: An initiative to support work-life balance for working parents and carers?To support the implementation of Work-Life Balance Initiative at European, National and local level, on the 26th of April 2017, the Commission invited the European Parliament and the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions to endorse a Communication, in close cooperation with social partners and all other relevant stakeholders. The Communication sets out a comprehensive package of complementary legal and policy measures, which are mutually reinforcing. In fact, the document offered a representation of the socio-economic context of the EU countries, in 2015-2016, focused on leaves, flexible working arrangements, care facilities and economic disincentives. Also, it included EU approach and priority areas.


Improving the design and gender-balanced take-up of family related leaves and flexible working arrangementsIn this area the Commission proposed, as legislative actions, news rights like:

  • possibility for flexible uptake (piecemeal and part-time) of the 4 months entitlement to parental leave;
  • an entitlement to 10 working days of paternity leave when a child is born;
  • an entitlement to 5 days of leave per year per worker to take care of seriously ill or dependent relatives;
  • a right to request flexible working arrangements for parents of children up to 12 years old and workers with caring responsibilities.
Also, it proposed non-legislative actions like continue the monitoring of transposition of EU legislation, improve the collection of EU-level data and share best practices.Improving the quality, affordability and access to childcare and long-term careIn this area, the Commission proposed non-legislative actions as:
  • guidance to Member States on employment friendly and accessible care services;
  • revise the existing Education and Training 2020 target on early childhood education and care;
  • develop adequate EU funding.


Addressing economic disincentives for parents and carers to workIn this third and final priority area, the Commission proposed other non-legislative actions to identify member states specific obstacles resulting from tax-benefit systems, improve this data collection and share best practice with all EU countries. The Communication helped to draft the Work-Life Balance Directive guiding the lines of future development.

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