Good progress on EU law to increase rights for Maltese parents – Casa

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Good progress on EU law to increase rights for Maltese parents - CasaThe fifth round of negotiations between EU institutions on a directive that will drastically increase the rights of Maltese parents and carers, has been led by MEP David Casa.

PN’s Head of Delegation in the European Parliament stated, “this legislation will introduce a minimum of 10 days leave for fathers at around the time of the birth of a child and the right to paid leave for each parent in the early years of their children’s lives.”

The proposed EU law also aims to introduce the right for parents and carers to request flexible working arrangements and for employees caring for ill relatives to be able to use leave for this purpose while ensuring that their employment rights are safeguarded.

“If negotiations are successful, Malta is one of the member states that will see the greatest increase in rights for parents and carers. Carers’ leave will be a completely new right. Parental leave exists but is currently unpaid,” stated Casa.

He explained that, “this should change and the leave allocation for each parent will have to be paid, therefore enabling its take-up. Paid paternity leave in Malta referred to as birth leave currently varies from 1 day in the private sector to 5 days in public sector. Through this directive we hope to increase the minimum allocation to 10 days of paid leave at around the time of the birth of a child.”

The directive seeks to encourage a better sharing of caring responsibilities between men and women so as to address the gender pay and employment gaps.

The MEP said, “caring responsibilities traditionally fall more on women in the family. This directive will allow and encourage for such responsibilities to be better shared and should play a role in enabling our work force to reach its full potential, while fostering an improvement in the balance between work and family life.”

“We have also been very attentive to the concerns of employers, and SMEs in particular. It is crucial that business is not stifled by the provisions of this directive. I am therefore working to ensure that the resulting directive is balanced and that the appropriate safeguards are in place,” said the MEP

“I am cautiously optimistic that negotiations can be concluded in the coming weeks,” concluded Casa.

Photo: David Casa MEP and Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner

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