Adequate leave policies can enable men and women to combine labourmarket participation and childrearing responsibilities. The European Union’s work-life-balance directive (WLBD)—a revision and renaming (2019/1158) of the parental leave directive from 2010—aims to facili‐ tate the combination of work and family life, especially promoting the involvement of fathers / secondary carers in care activities in the private sphere. There are major gaps in the UK’s work-life balance policy, which could have been addressed via the WLBD, were the UK still an EU member state. These include earmarked parental leave, which, if accompanied by generous replacement rates, often leads to fathers / secondary carers becoming more engaged in childrearing responsibilities. This, in turn, improves the likelihood of retaining women in the labour market, as well as having equalising effects in other areas, such as old-age pensions. The policies introduced by the WLBD are: ten days of paternity leave, to be paid at minimum at the level of sick pay; two months of earmarked parental leave, to be compensated at a level decided by member states; five carer days per parent per year and possibilities for flexible work arrangements. While all are relevant to work-life balance, some have more long-term, gender-equalising potential than others.
|Title of host publication||Whither Social Rights in (Post-) Brexit Europe? : Opportunities and Challenges|
|Editors||Matthew Donoghue, Mikko Kuisma|
|Number of pages||5|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publisher||Social Europe Publishing|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|