Parental leave: 50 associations seek Macron support to improve parents’ lives

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A woman takes her daughter to school (illustration image). – LOIC VENANCE / AFP
For a better balance between professional life and private life, about fifty associations published this Monday an open letter to Emmanuel Macron . The group is asking for its support for a proposal for a European directive improving the parental leave .

With 50 associations, we seek the support of the President @EmmanuelMacron the European directive on the pro-life balance of parents and carers. #IwantWorkLifeBalance @COFACE_EU @Unapei_infos @apfhandicap @unaf_fr #familles #aidants #parents pic.twitter.com/SSFr84JQFb – UNAF (@unaf_fr) April 16, 2018

“Your support for this directive (…) would translate into real social progress for millions of European families”, write to the president these 49 associations representing families, elderly and disabled.

This Directive “would improve the women’s activity rate and caregivers, “added the signatories, among which the National Union of Family Associations (Unaf), the Association of the victims of life (Fnath), the Association of Paralyzed France (APF) or the Unapei (people with intellectual disabilities and their families).

Greater flexibility for parents of disabled children

In essence, it proposes better compensation for parental leave, in terms of daily sickness benefits, whereas it is currently 396 euros per month at most in France.

This increase “would make parental leave more attractive to fathers “And” its cost would be limited for public finances, if not zero “, because” it would reduce the pressure on the system of reception of the young child “, estimate the signatories.

The Directive introduces the possibility of splitting the parental leave and taking it until the child’s 12 years, instead of 3 years in French law. This greater flexibility “would be particularly useful for parents of children in a situation of handicap for which time needs may appear later, “argue the associations.

They also support the five days off per year proposed for caring for a dependent relative . In French law, “caregiver leave” is longer (3 months renewable within one year of the entire career), but it is neither divisible nor remunerated, they point out.

Remote work for parents

The modalities provided “would complement the French law and would make it possible to respond to the needs of carers of disabled people or with a loss of autonomy of a particular gravity”, consider the signatories.

The proposal for a directive provides for the possibility of requesting flexible working arrangements, for example work abroad for parents of children under 12 “offering greater flexibility” than French law, “when the disability is not yet recognized, for example”.

This proposal for a directive is under discussion in the Council of the European Union, say the associations in a statement.

>> To read also: Parental leave. Aviva becomes the first company to offer ten weeks to all its employees

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