For Information : Proposal for an etuc position on the second stage consultation of the social partners on possible action addressing the challenges of work-life balance

Brussels, 22 September 2016

  • To the Members of the Women’s Committee
  • To the members of the social dialogue committee


Dear Members of the Social Dialogue Committee,

On behalf of Montserrat, I would like to thank you once again for your active involvement in formulating a position for the ETUC on work-life balance.  I understand that it was a difficult exercise because of the very tight timeframe that the Commission set us. Nevertheless, we received 17 contributions with amendments and comments to the first draft.  On the basis of these comments and amendments, we revised the first draft. You will now find the second draft attached with the accepted amendments in yellow.  We would like you to have a final look and let me know ([email protected]) if you have a major problem with the current draft before Monday, 26th of September, 6pm. 

While we tried to integrate as many of your comments and amendments as possible, we took care not to reopen the position we took during the first stage consultation such as asking for 100 per cent salary replacement for maternity leave. The same holds true for the non-transferability of parental leave. We already reached a clear position on that.  Some of you asked that carers’ leave should become a priority though the great majority agreed with the priorities set in the first draft, e.g. parental leave, paternity leave and flexible leave arrangements.  While regulating carers’ leave is certainly very important, also in terms of the rights to social security, making it a priority would be unrealistic given the current political climate. That is also the reason why it would be unrealistic to ask for any extended paternity leave which goes beyond four weeks.

There was also an amendment asking that flexible working arrangements should not be subject to European legislation, but should be dealt with at national level via national collective agreements. Again, we did not accept that since we already agreed before that we would be asking for a European framework, with details however to be left to national collective agreements.

For your information, I am enclosing a short paper summarizing the major amendments which were submitted.

Thanking you once again for your co-operation. 

With best regards,