Men set to get 10 days of paid paternity leave as EU agrees new directive

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have agreed on a new directive to be negotiated by Nationalist MEP David Casa that targets a better work-life balance

PN MEP David Casa has described the new directive granting more rights to parents as 'a great day for European families'
PN MEP David Casa has described the new directive granting more rights to parents as 'a great day for European families'

Men will benefit from 10 days of paid paternity leave as part of a new EU directive agreed today between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The directive also sets the rate of pay for the paternity leave at not less than the national sick pay level.

This means that Maltese men will eventually see paid paternity leave increase from a mere one day to 10 days.

The lead negotiator on the directive, PN MEP David Casa, described the agreement as “a great day for all European families”.

The agreement also includes new rights for those who care for their relatives through the introduction of a Europe-wide five-day annual carer’s leave.

The new directive will also introduce four months of parental leave of which two months will be paid and non-transferable. Employees will also be given the right to request flexible work arrangements.

“What we have agreed upon will not only translate into a better quality of life for our citizens, but will also increase productivity and help reduce the gender pay and pension gap. I believe that the right balance between employees’ rights and employers’ expectations has been found,” Casa said.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement in the trialogue meeting on the Work-Life Balance Directive. The next step is for the parliament’s plenary to vote on the final agreement in the coming weeks.

After that, the directive should start being adopted by the governments in all EU member states.

According to MEP Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, the lead negotiator of the directive in the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, said the directive will give mothers and fathers the opportunity to have equal rights to take care of their children and to pursue their professional careers.

“The agreement reached is a great step towards a better work-life balance for all working parents and towards improving the lives of families across all EU member states,” she said.

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