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S&Ds bring new era of work-life balance to Europe


Trade & Society
With the European Parliament’s final vote today, new rules for work-life balance in Europe can finally become a reality: Ten paternity days for fathers, four months for each parent parental leave from which two months are not transferable which therefore ensures that both partners can spend time with their child, and five days a year for all workers to take care of their relatives or people in their household.
Udo Bullmann, S&D Group leader, said:
“This is one of the most important achievements of this parliamentary term and the first legislative file from the European Pillar of Social Rights. As a consequence of our constant pressure over the past five years, millions of Europeans can soon benefit from rules to better balance work and family. Thanks to the initiative of Frans Timmermans, as vice-president in the European Commission, and to the hard work of our negotiator Maria Arena, we Socialists and Democrats have ensured European minimum standards for parents and people who take care of family members. Europeans will see and feel the positive effects of this European legislation in their everyday lives. This is a huge step towards the more social and sustainable Europe that we fight for and a loud and clear answer to populists and nationalists who try to play on people’s fears.” 
Maria Arena, S&D negotiator on the work-life balance, stated:
“Work-life balance is important for all European citizens as it is a matter of gender equality. That is why we pushed for paternity leave to allow fathers to be with their children, also to unburden mothers and to put an end to the gender pay gap. Non-transferable parental leave allows fathers to better play their role within parenthood, and finally the carers' leave that allows taking into account our relatives that we also need to care for. The right work-life balance gives people the choice to shape their lives: raise children, take care of elderly family members, share domestic tasks and pursue a career. ”