European & International News

Work-Life-Balance Directive: update beginning 2019

[Brussels, 22 January 2019] In April 2017, the European Commission launched its proposal for a Directive on family related leave covering parental leave, paternity leave, carer’s leave and the right to request flexible working arrangements on return to work for reasons related to care responsibilities. The Directive, once adopted, will replace the existing EU Directive on Parental leave (2010/18/EU) negotiated and adopted by the Social Partners in 2010. The WLB Directive is part of the co-decision procedure (trilogies), which means that both the European Parliament and the European Council are negotiating to reach a final text.

The two trilogues scheduled for 3 and 10 December were cancelled due to a blockage in negotiations. Subsequently, a third one took place on 14 December, when a compromise was reached on 75% of the text. A final trilogue has been planned for January, under the Romanian Presidency of the EU. We are confident that we will be moving towards transposition for the next EPSCO Council, scheduled for 15 March 2019.

As for the content of the deal, the co-legislators are moving towards paid paternity leave, paid non-transferable period of parental leave, and five days of carers leave per year and per worker. Nonetheless, the European Parliament is pushing to set an adequate level of compensation, to allow for decent living standards and encourage the take-up of the leaves.

The EWL is keeping pressure on the Romanian presidency to facilitate the reaching of an agreement. Please join the action by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), signing their petition and sharing with your contacts. The petition is available in English, German, French, Italian and Polish.

The time to act is NOW to reach a conclusion on the WLB directive before the end of the mandate of the European Parliament and the renewal of the European Commission.

Get Involved