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Commission proposes to increase parental leave

30/07/2009 Commission proposes to increase parental leave

The European Commission has on July 30, 2009 adopted a proposal to increase the existing right to take parental leave from three to four months per parent and apply it to all employees, regardless of their type of contract.

If adopted by Member States in the Council, the proposal would give legal effect to a recent agreement negotiated by European trades unions and employers' organisations and signed on 18 June 2009. The proposal complements the Commission's recent package of measures to improve work-life balance for Europeans.

 

The most important elements are the following:

 

  • 4 months of leave per parent (compared to 3 previously), of which at least one month is strictly non-transferable between parents
  • right of parents returning from parental leave to request changes to their working hours or patterns, which employers must consider and respond to
  • clear inclusion of part-time, fixed-term and agency workers, but maintenance of the possibility of a qualification period which shall not exceed one year
  • protection of the worker not only against dismissal, but also against less favourable treatment on grounds of taking parental leave

It also includes non-binding references to the following:

 

  • 4 months of leave per parent (compared to 3 previously), of which at least one month is strictly non-transferable between parents
  • right of parents returning from parental leave to request changes to their working hours or patterns, which employers must consider and respond to
  • clear inclusion of part-time, fixed-term and agency workers, but maintenance of the possibility of a qualification period which shall not exceed one year
  • protection of the worker not only against dismissal, but also against less favourable treatment on grounds of taking parental leave