European Parliament votes in favour of 10-day leave for new fathers

The directive will also grant four months of parental leave of which two months will be paid

Fathers will be granted 10 days of paternity leave as part of the newly-approved directive
Fathers will be granted 10 days of paternity leave as part of the newly-approved directive

New fathers are to be granted 10 days of paternity leave, with both parents also getting four months of parental leave after the European Parliament voted in favour of a Work-Life Balance directive.

Of the four months of parental leave, two will be paid and non-transferable, meaning they must be shared between the mother and the father.

The directive, on which Nationalist MEP David Casa was the lead negotiator, was approved by 490 votes in favour and 82 votes against.

Speaking after the vote, Casa said it was a great day for all European families.

“The Parliament has widely adopted the agreement for work-life balance rules, setting up several new individual rights, not only for parents, but also for those who care for their relatives,” Casa said.

Throughout the talks, Casa said negotiators had kept a strong position and acted in the interests of European families. “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.”

He added that the right balance between employees’ right and employers’ expectation has now been found.

The Directive seeks to allow parents and people with caring responsibilities to better reconcile their work and caring duties. In addition to parental leave, the directive also deals with the special situation of carers by creating a five-day annual carers’ leave and give the right to request flexible working arrangements for working parents, balancing between the needs of both workers and employers.

“Taking action was imperative for the EPP Group as the costs of the inequalities between men and women’s employment amounted to almost 3% of the EU GDP in 2013,”

Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz MEP, the lead negotiator of the Directive in the European Parliament’s Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, said.

“We stood united during the negotiations and succeeded in giving both mothers and fathers the opportunity to have equal rights to take care of their children and to pursue their professional careers.”

She added that the agreement adopted today was 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.

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