The Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament today reached a provisional agreement on certain key elements of the proposal for a directive on the equilibrium between work and life for parents and carers. The agreement must however still be approved by the Member States. This is what our lives have gotten to! We’re in the hands of a bunch of strangers who get to decide on our lives, whilst we bow down our head and comply!
The aim of the proposal is to improve the access of working parents and carers to arrangements for work-life balance. The new directive encourages men and women to share equally in family responsibilities. As if we needed them to tell us how important this is! We have come to a point where children have to fight for a fraction of their parents’ time for the sake of a better economy for the country they live in. Then we complain that kids nowadays are unruly, have no morals and values… ever wonder why?
Maybe one of the key elements of the proposal is that fathers or second parents may take at least 10 working days of paternity leave at the time of birth of a child, paid at the level currently set at EU level for maternity leave (in accordance with Article 11 of Council Directive 92/85/EEC). It’s high time fathers get treated equally as mothers! After all it takes two to tango, or does it?
It has been ages since it was agreed that maternity leave is essential for newborns, but the issue of paternity leave seems to still be under discussion. Are we still living blindly? It is a reality that most new fathers take little or no time off to care for a new child, and unfortunately many find it difficult to take time off at all. At present, on average, dads seem to be only taking three to four days of paternity leave, mainly because they are worried about finances. Whether it is your first child or your fourth, parental leave is important for both the mother and the father.
The issue does not lie there only, in my humble opinion. This is not the only hiccup… What about working mothers who would love to stay at home and bring up their children until they are of school age but cannot do so because of home loans and other commitments that make this impossible? When it comes to parental leave, we have a long way to go.
What is your take on all of this? Feel free to comment below!