New rights for parents and carers with EU Work Life Balance Directive

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New rights for parents and carers with EU Work Life Balance DirectiveA new Work Life Balance Directive, which will provide a better future for all European citizens, has been agreed tonight, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The new directive, which was led and negotiated by Maltese MEP David Casa on behalf of the European Parliament, will introduce new rights for European parents and carers.

These will be:

• 10-day paternity leave remunerated at not less than the national sick pay level,

• 4 months of parental leave of which 2 months will be paid and non-transferable,

• the right to request flexible working arrangements, and

• 5-day carer’s leave for those who need to take care of relatives.

“Today is a great day for all European families. We have reached an agreement on several new individual rights, not only for parents, but also for those who need to take care of their relatives,” said MEP David Casa.

“Throughout the negotiations, we kept a strong position and acted in the interest of European families. What we have agreed upon will not only translate into a better quality of life for our citizens, but also will increase productivity and help reduce the gender employment gap, gender pay gap, and gender pension gap,” he added.

Casa went on to say that, “I believe that the right balance between employees’ rights and employers’ expectations has been achieved.”

He also expressed his satisfaction that a Maltese MEP led such an important directive. “Although Malta is the smallest EU Member State, throughout the years we have shown that we can deliver and introduce new laws which will result in a better quality of life for all European citizens, including Gozitan and Maltese parents and employees.”

“I would like to thank all the unions and employers’ representatives, with whom I met and whose input I took into account.” He explained that the negotiations were tough; in order to ensure that the new rights will not create a burden on employers, especially for micro, small and medium sized enterprises.

MEP David Casa has been working on this directive since October 2017, when he was chosen as the Lead Negotiator for the European Parliament on the Work Life Balance Directive, which is one of the most important EU initiatives in the area of employment and social affairs during this legislature.

The next step is for the Parliament’s Plenary to vote on the final agreement in the coming weeks. The Directive should start being adopted by the Governments in all the EU’s Member States

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