The Social Partners were requested by the European Commission to reply to the first phase consultation on possible action addressing the challenges of work-life balance faced by working parents and caregivers. Eurocadres answered by highlighting some challenges that are of specific importance to Professional and Managerial Staff.
A growing concern is that the European labour market is not utilising its fullest potential. For example, more women than men finish tertiary education, but still men outnumber women in entering the labour market.
Women tend to be less paid, have part-time jobs and highly-educated women work in lower-skilled professions. Not including highly educated people in the labour market is a waste of resources.
Stronger pressure from EU level is needed to improve work-life balance and to promote overall gender equality.
We support good quality and accessible care for children, elderly, sick and disabled; as well as the right to parental leave and flexible working conditions in order to increase women's participation in the labour market.
We cannot afford a Europe with the most skilled housewives in the world.
We cannot afford a Europe with the most skilled housewives in the world. Women’s participation in the labour market create economic growth. Europe should be ready for an attitude change and encourage paternal leave and parental leave for men.
It is the role of employers, colleagues and politicians to show an example and speak for shared responsibility. This should not, however, compromise the poorly arranged maternity leaves in some member states.
The legal right to leave and come back should be equal for mothers and fathers, without cutting rights of women. Same goes for carers' leave: it is a positive initiative, but we have to make sure that it will not become similar to a "pregnancy trap" for women. It is fundamental to have good access to good quality publicly funded care.
Work-life balance and flexibility are what the labour force and market needs to keep people healthy and efficient. Blurring the boundaries between work and family life is particularly problematic for those not enjoying the protection of the Working Time Directive. With an ever-increasing share of professionals in the EU workforce the derogation has lead up to a structural opt-out.
Read the full reply to the consultation here