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A new directive on work-life balance [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy podcast]

Written by Nora Milotay (2nd edition, updated on 17.09.2018),

Hand holding seesaw balancing work and life block objectsDespite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave.

Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Both EU advisory committees have issued opinions and some national parliaments have expressed their reasoned and other opinions. The Council of the EU agreed a general approach in June 2018. During the September plenary session, the European Parliament confirmed the mandate for negotiations adopted by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL), and trilogue negotiations have now started.

Interactive PDF

Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU
Committee responsible: Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) COM(2017) 253 of 26.4.2017

procedure ref.: 2017/0085(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: David Casa (EPP, Malta)
Shadow rapporteurs:



Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium),
Jana Žitňanská (ECR, Slovakia),
Renate Weber (ALDE, Romania),
Tania González Peňas (GUE/NGL, Spain),
Tatjana Ždanoka (Greens/EFA, Latvia),
Laura Agea (EFDD, Italy),
Joëlle Mélin (ENF, France)
Next steps expected: Trilogue negotiations

EU Legislation in progress: Committee vote


Listen to podcast ‘A new directive on work-life balance‘.


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