Want to make creations as awesome as this one?



MODULE 6 - Unit 5

WORK LIFE BALANCE & European dimension


Promote Directive 2019/1158

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, in her Political Guidelines says: “Europe should also support parents and people with caring responsibilities to better balance their work and family lives. I will ensure that we fully implement the Work-Life Balance Directive, which encourages better sharing of responsibilities between women and men“.To achieve this aim the European Commission will support Member States in applying the new rules including through the European Social Fund+. It is the European Union (EU)’s main instrument for investing in people financing the implementation of the principles from the European Pillar for Social Rights through actions in the areas of employment, education & skills and social inclusion. The von der Leyen Commission’s also planned a EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 among which there are goals like closing gender gaps in the labour market; achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy; addressing the gender pay and pension gaps; closing the gender care gap, that are in common with Work-Life Directive.


To understand if this kind of policies has been properly promoted, especially Directive 2019/1158, we can observe the situation of women’s employment in Europe and at a national level.In 2019, before the Covid-crisis, the employment rate reached 73.1%, the highest annual average ever recorded for the EU, and the closest to the 75% target set out in the Europe 2020 strategy. Yet, the employment rate for men (at 79%) was still 11.7 percentage points higher than for women (67.3%). In 2020, The EU employment rate (for people aged 20-64) went up from 71.7 % in 2020 to 73.1 % in 2021, an increase of 1.4 percentage points (pp). The EU employment rate for men of working age was 77.2 % in 2020, exceeding that of women (66.2 %) by 11.0 percentage points. The gender employment gap, meaning the difference between the employment rate of men and women, narrowed from 13.4 pp in 2009 to 11.1 pp in 2014. Since then, it has continued to narrow but to a lesser extent, reaching 10.8 pp in 2021. In 2021, 46.3 % of employed people were women.In 2021, 197 million households resided in the EU: 49% have one child, 39% have 2 children, 12% have 3 or more and 13% all of these are single-parent household. The share of part-time employment among employed women aged 25-54 with children was larger than that for women without children. Among these countries, the gap was largest in central and western EU Member States.


Despite a little improvement in the employability rate, especially for women, there are still many steps to be taken to promote these policies; a key role will have to be played by local governments, trade unions, social partners and companies. For examples there are useful tools that encourage mutual learning among EU countries, like Mutual Learning Programme in gender equality which shares practice on:

  • gender-balanced uptake of family leaves and flexible working arrangements;
  • initiatives such as labels and certifications for employers with good work-life balance practices;
  • transition between leaves and employment (e.g. provision of breastfeeding facilities at the workplace).

You have successfully completed this Unit!Go To: Unit 6.6