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Today, 4 April, the Work Life Balance (WLB) Directive was passed in the European Parliament. The text was agreed in between the European Institutions in trialogue on 24 January 2019. The Directive makes a big difference for the modern workers and families by strengthening existing outdated as well as new rights on parental leave, paternity leave at the birth of a child, carers leave, flexible working arrangement.

The Directive allows parents and people with caring responsibilities to reconcile better their work and caring duties and is a step forward in the fight for gender equality.

UNI Europa welcomes recognition of the importance of work life balance and its potential to strengthen equal opportunities for all, across the EU.

Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa says “UNI Europa welcomes the EP on today’s adoption of the WLB directive, giving parents Europe-wide a better balance between their personal and professional lives. This will help as well those caring for others to have the right tools and provisions not to put their careers on hold”.

The Directive will bring new rights in many European countries including:

– 10 days paternity leave around the birth of a child and paid at sick-leave level.

– 5 days carers leave – although unfortunately without any obligation for the leave to be paid.

– The right for parents and carers to request flexible working arrangements to which employers must respond and provide a justification.

UNI Europa’s involvement in the REBALANCE project led by the ETUC highlights the need for improving equal opportunities on the labour market and presents concrete good practices in promoting work life balance through our working-life democracy, namely collective bargaining.

Amel Djemail, Equal Opportunities Director states: “UNI Equal Opportunities congrats the EP vote in favour of the agreement reached on the WLB directive. This is a step forward for a more equal society and paves the way for a more balanced future for which UNI Europa will continue to fight”.

Now we UNI Europa call on the Member States to ensure the successful transposition and implementation at national level in consultation with the Social Partners. The transposition is due to enter into force in EU member states within 3 years.

For more information, please contact Amel Djemail, Equal Opportunities Director at UNI Europa