22 June 2018

Council adopts General Approach on the Work-Life Balance Directive

On 21 June the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) agreed a common position (General Approach) on the Work-Life Balance (WLB) Directive.


This means that the incoming Austrian Presidency, which begins on the 1 July, can start negotiating the final adoption of the legislation with the European Parliament.


The WLB Directive is the first concrete proposal to come from the European Pillar of Social Rights. The final adoption of an ambitious WLB Directive, which provides adequate work-life balance for citizens, would send a clear signal that the European Union and its Member States are committed to a more social Europe.


MHE and its members, alongside other organisations in the WLB Coaltion, have been active advocates for an adequate and comprehensive WLB Directive for over a year. Early this month MHE was one of several organisations to sign a joint letter urging EPSCO Council Ministers to adopt the proposal.


We believe adequate work-life balance measures, including paid leave and flexible working arrangements, are crucial for wellbeing and positive mental health. Studies have shown that a good work-life balance reduces levels of anxiety and depression, and positively affects job and life satisfaction.


If the final text of the Directive is worded as we recommend, it would have a beneficial impact on workers, informal carers of people with mental ill health, and people experiencing mental health difficulties, who would have better possibilities of getting the support they need when facing challenges.


The achievement of a General Approach on 21 June was a big step towards ensuring good work life balance for everyone in Europe. Without the WLB Coalition, the #IwantWorkLifeBalance campaign, and lobbying from MHE and its members, it may never have happened.





Notes to editor

  1. Read more about the proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers
  2. Read more about the European Pillar of Social Rights
  3. Download the Open letter to Ministers

For more information contact Robin Murphy on robin.murphy@mhe.purpleplanet.website.

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