Parliament puts forward ambitious proposals to enable parents and carers to take fairly compensated paternity, parental and/or carers’ leave

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The S&Ds led today a majority in the employment and social affairs committee calling for an ambitious and progressive Work-Life Balance Directive to enable working parents and carers to balance their professional and private lives. Under the rules, parents and carers across the EU will be able to take leave that is fairly compensated. They will also be able to request flexible working arrangements in order to take care of their children and/or seriously ill or injured relatives and friends. The European Parliament will vote on a mandate to start negotiations with the Council in September.
 
S&D negotiator on the Work-Life Balance Directive, Marie Arena MEP, said:
 
“Today’s vote on the Work-Life Balance Directive is an important achievement for parents and carers across the EU. We put forward proposals that are ambitious and aim at enabling working parents and carers to balance their work and private lives. The proposals will bring to reality the principles of the EU Social Pillar, ensure gender equality at work and in caring responsibilities and close the gender pay gap.
 
“Thanks to the initiative, parents and carers will be able to take paternity, parental and/or carers’ leave that is compensated fairly, as well as request adaptable working arrangements for caring purposes in order to better respond to the work-life challenges. We achieved that parental leave should be taken for a child of up to 10 years of age equally by both parents for at least 4 months and cannot be transferred from one to another so as to increase the take-up of fathers. In addition, we ensured that a paternity leave of at least 10 days should be taken around the birth of a child by a father, or a second parent, and a carer's leave of at least 5 days a year in case of a seriously ill or injured relative or a friend.”
 
S&D Group spokesperson on employment and social affairs, MEP Agnes Jongerius, stated:
 
“The birth of a child is one of the most beautiful things in life. You want to be present at every moment. You want to be sure that you can see your child grow up and as a parent ensure that your child gets a good start. This is why we, the S&Ds, fight for a good work-life balance. This is why we today support the initiative that all parents, regardless of income, can take leave. We want parental leave to strengthen the bond between parents and their child, paternity leave so both parents have a better chance on the labour market, and carers leave to help family and friends.
 
"The vote also signals that progressive forces in the European Parliament can achieve better and fairer conditions for EU citizens when united. Our proposal is more progressive compared to the one adopted by the Council in June and takes into consideration the needs of all European citizens regardless of their nationality. Now it is up to the national governments to prove they truly care about EU citizens' needs.”
 

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