The institutions of theEuropean Unionhave agreed on Thursday to establish apaid permissionof "at least" four months for the care of the children to which each parent and each mother may be entitled, of which two months may not be transferable between the parents and shall be paid at a level that may be decided by each Member State.
This is the main feature of the agreement reached between the negotiators of the Council of the EU (the countries) and theEuropean Parliamenton the new directive on conciliation of family life and professional life of parents and carers. Before entering into force, the new rules must be approved by the two institutions.
Currently, Community legislation provides that workers can apply for leave of absence up tofour months for careof minors up to eight years of age, but there are no rules that require it to be a paid leave and allows three of the four months to be transferred to the other parent.
However, the preliminary agreement is less ambitious than the original proposal that the European Commission raised inApril 2017, in which he advocated the introduction of paid leave of at least four months and in no case non-transferable.
The agreement also includes a minimum paternity leave of ten days for men after the birth of their child, who will have to be paid at least at the same level that is established for sick leave. Countries with paternity leave"more generous", like Spain, may continue to maintain them.
In addition, all parents with children up to eight years of age will have the right to ask their companies for different work formulas, such as a reduced schedule orflexible and flexiblewith respect to the workplace.
Finally, the community institutions have also agreed on provisions for permits for caregivers through a right of five free days per worker and year.
"The agreement gives a great impetus to the promotion of equality between women and men in the EU.participation of women in the labor marketand an equitable distribution of care responsibilities. It will also help to close the wage gap, "said Marius-Constantin Budai, Minister of Employment and Social Justice of Romania, who holds the rotating presidency of the EU this semester.
For its part, the European Commission has stressed that the new rules are"Good news"for European families because they give parents "the real option of choosing how they want to combine their work and their family life".
"This is a huge step towards a more social Europe and shows the true spirit of the European Pillar ofSocial rights", highlighted the first vice president of the community executive, Frans Timmermans, and the commissioners of Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen, and Justice and Equality, Vera Jourova.