On 12 July, the European Commission launched the second-stage consultation of the social partners at European level under Article 154 TFEU on possible action addressing the challenges of work-life balance faced by working parents and caregivers. The objective of this initiative is to promote equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work and thereby address the low participation of women in the labour market and support the equal use of occupational rights. The initiative aims to modernise and adapt the current EU legal and policy framework to today’s labour market by improving measures to facilitate work-life balance and incentivising their equal use by women and men. By enhancing women’s participation in the labour market, this initiative would contribute to the Commission’s priorities on jobs and growth, in the context of demographic challenges.

On 11 November 2015, the European social partners were invited to give their views on the possible direction of EU action in a first-stage consultation as provided for under Article 154 TFEU. A public consultation was also carried out to seek the views of different stakeholders about the need for such an initiative, its scope, form and possible content. The Advisory Committee on equality between women and men has also been consulted.

Following the responses received, the Commission is now launching a second-stage consultation of the social partners on the content of the envisaged proposal, as required under the Treaty.

As it concerns a cross-sectoral issue, EFEE contributed to the 1st stage consultation via CEEP and also for this 2nd stage consultation we will cooperate with CEEP.

 K.J. Wright Authentic Jersey