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

Written by Nora Milotay (3rd edition, updated on 02.04.2019),

Hand holding seesaw balancing work and life block objects

Despite 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. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary.

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),
Miroslavs Mitrofanovs (Greens/EFA, Latvia)
Laura Agea (EFDD, Italy),
Joëlle Mélin (ENF, France)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary


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


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