The European Council adopted on 13 June 2019 the Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers. The new Directive lays down minimum requirements designed to achieve equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work, by facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life for workers who are parents, or carers.
Main points of the Directive:
• paternity leave - fathers or, where and in so far as recognised by national law, equivalent second parents, will be able to take at least 10 working days of leave around the time of birth of a child paid at a level equal to that currently set at EU level for maternity leave. The right to paternity leave shall not be made subject to a period of work qualification or to a length of service qualification. Member States may make the right to a payment or an allowance subject to periods of previous employment, which shall not exceed six months immediately prior to the expected date of the birth of the child.
• parental leave - an individual right to 4 months of parental leave, from which 2 months are non-transferable between the parents and are paid. The level of payment and the age limit of the child will be set by member states
• carers' leave - a new concept at EU level for workers caring for relatives in need of care or support due to serious medical reasons. Carers will be able to take 5 working days per year. Member states may use a different reference period, allocate leave on a case-by-case basis, and may introduce additional conditions for the exercise of this right
• flexible working arrangements - the right for parents to request these arrangements has been extended to include working carers.