Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 13/07/2016

A new start for parents and caregivers: Commission launches second-stage consultation of EU social partner organisations on work-life balance

The European Commission has launched a second-stage consultation with social partner organisations at European level.

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The aim of the consultation is to seek their views on how to reduce obstacles to women's participation in the labour market, by improving work-life balance and possibilities for women and men to make use of their rights more equally. The Commission finds that further EU-level action is needed in order to effectively address women's underrepresentation in the labour market, which is leading to women's greater risk of poverty, underutilisation of women's skills and competences, and is negatively impacting economic growth.

In this second-stage consultation, the Commission has identified possible avenues for EU legislative action on which it would like to seek the views of social partners, including whether they would be interested in opening negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement at Union level between them. The consultation document also sets out that further legislative action could be reinforced by strengthened EU-level policy measures, such as policy guidance, knowledge sharing and awareness raising activities, and financial support. This consultation follows a first-stage social partner consultation and a broad public consultation, which closed earlier this year. EU employees' and employers' organisations have until 30 September 2016 to submit their views.

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