The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

David Casa to be responsible for work-life balance directive

Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 11:05 Last update: about 4 years ago

PN Head of Delegation David Casa will be responsible for one of the most important EU initiatives in the area of employment and social affairs during this legislature – the Work-Life Balance Directive. This was announced during an EPP Group meeting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  

“The objective of the proposed legislation is to extend existing rights for working parents and carers. This should have the effect of combatting the discrimination of women in the labour market through better sharing of carer responsibilities among men and women. Concretely, the directive seeks to introduce minimum periods of paternal leave around the time of the birth of a child, provide each parent with non-transferable periods of parental leave until the child is 12 years old and increase the possibility of flexible working arrangements”, explained Mr Casa.  

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In 2015, the employment rate of women in the EU reached 64.3%, compared to 75.9% of men. The gender employment gap is most acute in relation to parents and persons that have other caring responsibilities.

According to figures released this year, in Malta, the employment gender gap remains the largest in the EU with 83.1% of men in employment compared to 55.5% of women. 

David Casa MEP stated: “One of the main causes of this situation is inadequate work-life balance policy. Leave entitlement is not designed in a balanced manner in relation to different genders. Incentives for men to take leave to care for children or dependents are inadequate. In addition, the use of flexible working arrangements is limited. These factors have been shown to increase the employment challenges faced by women”.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, commented: "Increasing women's participation on the labour market is not only a question of fairness, it also presents a triple win. It is good for working parents and carers who will enjoy a better balance between their private and professional lives, it is good for businesses which will profit from attracting and keeping talent, and good for Member States that lose out €370 billion every year due to the gender employment gap today." 

Mr Casa will be holding meetings with stakeholders in Malta and at EU level in the coming weeks that will factor into his work on this dossier. 

David Casa will be tasked with formulating the European Parliament’s position on this highly controversial dossier and subsequently representing the European Parliament in negotiations with the Council of Ministers. The dossier falls under the EU’s co-decision legislative procedure and requires agreement between the European Parliament and the Council to become law. 

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