Today, 13 September 2016, the European Parliament voted, in Strasbourg the resolution “Creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance” (by 443 votes in favour, 123 against and 100 abstention.
COFACE – Families Europe welcomes this vote because it represents a major step in responding to the needs of families and individuals in Europe and expresses a clear political commitment of the European Parliament to work to support families across the EU. With this vote, the EU Parliament is also making a clear call to Social Partners and to the European Commission, to present a comprehensive and ambitious reconciliation package, as announced in last year’s Roadmap.
Reconciliation policies, to be effective, must be a mix of different elements and should cover families’ needs along the life-cycle. What families need is a coherent package that includes EU legislative and non-legislative initiatives on leave schemes, for parents but also carers, provision of quality accessible and affordable care and support services, for children, elderly and persons with disabilities, and flexible working arrangements.
The Parliament listened to families and their needs and has officially called upon the European Commission to bring forward initiatives for a paternity leave and a carers’ leave directive, to publish an implementation report of the parental leave directive and to consider proposing extensions to the minimum duration with adequate income replacement.
COFACE – Families Europe also welcomes the call of the Parliament to the EU Commission and Member States in relation to support and service provision for elderly and persons with disabilities and the establishment of targets on care on the model of the Barcelona objectives for childcare.
The EU Parliament refers also to the use of technologies and the promotion of smart-working and distance working as possible flexible working arrangement, reminding that, however, technologies can create a shift from a culture of presence at work to a culture of permanent availability, that must be avoided. COFACE – Families Europe share this view and will discuss this specific element in its upcoming conference in Berlin on 7-8 November on “the impact of digitalization on 21st century families”.