Member News

European Union: Work-life Balance Directive takes effect

The EU has introduced a new Work-life Balance Directive. The Directive aims to improve access to family leave and flexible work arrangements in all EU Member States. Specifically, the new legislation intends to accomplish the following:

  • Support better work-life balance for parents and carers
  • Encourage a more equal sharing of parental leave between men and women
  • Address women’s underrepresentation in the labour market

Measures under the Directive include:

Paternity leave

According to the Directive, new fathers are entitled to ten days’ of paternity leave around the time of birth of their child. At minimum, the leave should be compensated at the level of sick pay.

Changes to parental leave

The new legislation stipulates that two of the four months of parental leave provided are non-transferable between parents. The level of compensation is determined by the Member State.

Carer’s leave

Under the new legislation, workers who provide personal care to a relative or another person living in the same household will be entitled to five days of leave per year.

Extending the right to request flexible working arrangements

The Directive extends a workers right to request flexible working arrangements to carers and working parents of children up to eight years old.

The Directive entered into force on 1 August 2019. EU Member States have three years to implement the administrative provisions necessary to comply with the new law.

Compliments of Vistra, a member of the EACCNY