Negotiators from the EU Employment Committee and EU Ministers have inserted a clause guaranteeing that EU workers who choose to take parental leave, should receive a payment or allowance of 65% of their net wage.
The measure is seen as a way to recognize that some member states do not have the same levels of parental leave. This would last for a period of at least 6 months and be maintained at the discretion of the EU member state.
The measure is one of four new points that have been agreed by the two bodies, to improve men and women’s employment opportunities and parental duties.
The deal struck, emboldens proposals laid out in a new EU directive on Work-Life Balance, for men and women, and is understood to set out minimum standards for member states to help more women into employment and fathers to take up an equal parental role.
Under the proposed directive which has been led by MEP David Casa, fathers would be entitled to 10 working days of paternity leave paid at the national level of sick pay, two months of non-transferable and paid parental leave, rights to flexible working hours for parents and 5 days of carer’s leave.
Negotiators gave the go-ahead to the 10 days of parental leave, ensuring this was paid at the national level of sick pay. They also agreed to grant the two months of transferable parental leave which they considered a right and in line with balancing the caring responsibilities of parents. This would be accompanied by a sum of money for both parents which was in line with living standards to allow both parents to take leave.
The negotiators also agreed that employees would be able to request flexible working hours from their employers. This in turn, would encourage employers to weigh up the requirements of the company and the needs of the parents.
Responding to the deal, David Casa (EPP, MT) said, ‘What we have achieved today will have a concrete, positive impact on the lives of citizens across the EU’.