Our fight for European working parents and carers


For millions of Europeans balancing life and work is a constant challenge. Taking care of your family when they’re sick, being there for the precious moments after your child is born, having quality time with those children as they grow up; that’s the right of all Europeans, yet for too many it’s simply impossible. We’re fighting to make that dream a reality.

We want fathers to take at least ten days well-paid paternity leave around the birth of their child. Meaning fathers and mothers can share more of the responsibility for their new-born’s first days in the world, fathers can build a connection with their child and promoting gender equality in Europe’s work places. In Europe there are still many countries where fathers have no legal claim to paternity leave. This has to change.

We fight for four months of well-paid parental leave for each child up to ten years old. Meaning parents can take time from their careers to focus on family life. This entitlement should be non-transferable from one partner to another, to strengthen the male participation in raising children.

We want at least five days of well-paid care takers’ leave annually. Nothing matters more than taking care of family or friends in their time of need. That’s why we are fighting for compensated days, so we all have the chance to be there for those we love when they fall seriously ill or are dependent.

We want working parents and caretakers to have the right to request flexible working arrangements in order to take care of their children and/or seriously ill or injured relatives and friends. This provision will allow families to combine the care of their children or dependents with the demands in their professional life.

The S&D Group is leading the fight for a progressive and ambitious Work-Life Balance Directive to enable parents to balance their work and private lives without having to choose either the one or the other. The Directive, which is currently being negotiated between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council will replace and extend the scope of the Parental leave Directive. The proposals will bring to reality the principles of the EU Social Pillar, ensure gender equality at work and in caring responsibilities and close the gender pay gap. It aims to ensure that working parents and carers be able to juggle their professional and personal responsibilities.