On the 16 April Autism-Europe joined 50 other organisations, including AE members Autisme France and Sésame Autisme, in calling for French President Emmanuel Macron to show leadership in the realisation of the proposed Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers.
The letter, drafted under the initiative of the organisation COFACE Families Europe, arose following speeches delivered by the French President at the Sorbonne in Paris, and in Gothenburg, where he further established his position as a leader of citizens’ interests in Europe. The letter therefore urges President Macron to transform his words into action, and to lead the way with the realisation of this important EU Directive.
This new initiative takes into account the developments in society over the past decade in order to enable parents and other people with caring responsibilities to better balance their work and family lives and to encourage a better sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men.
As a result of the directive, it is foreseen that parents and carers will profit from more work-life balance and that women employment will increase. It will have positive impact on their earnings and career progression. In turn, it will positively impact their and their families’ economic prosperity, social inclusion and health. Many families with autistic members would thus benefit from this Directive.
What is the Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers?
The Directive comes about as part of the EU’s newly proclaimed Pillar of Social Rights. This Directive in particular would be comprised of a number of key elements, including:
- The introduction of paternity leave. Fathers/second parents will be able to take at least 10 working days of paternity leave around the time of birth of the child, compensated at least at the level of sick pay.
- The strengthening of parental leave by making the 4 months period compensated at least at sick pay level and non-transferable from a parent to another. Parents will also have the right to request to take leave in a flexible way (part-time or in a piecemeal way) and the age of the child up to which parents can take leave will be increased from 8 to 12 years old.
- The introduction of carers’ leave for workers caring for seriously ill or dependent relatives. Working carers will be able to take 5 days per year, compensated at least at sick pay level.
- The extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements (reduced working hours, flexible working hours and flexibility in place of work) to all working parents of children up to 12 and carers with dependent relatives.