Spain is among the three countries that did not transfer to Brussels the details of the transposition of the measures contemplated in 2019. These provisions are focused on establishing Common application rules in labor conciliation for parental, paternity and caregiver leave. It also collects the workers’ rights to require, if necessary, efficient and flexible work formulas for the care of people in a situation of dependency.
Finally, the European Commission decided to take Spain before the EU justice body for not having ruled on the proposed measures on time. What is our situation right now?
Labor conciliation in Spain: Impossible?
In April of this year, the 11 countries that had not yet notified the transposition of the measures received a final notice. The European Commission considered that, since Member States had up to August 2022 to carry out the full transposition of the measures adopted in the Directive on the reconciliation of family and professional life, time had been sufficient to comply with the European opinion.
The new regulations under conciliation were approved by the 27 Member States in 2019. Despite the deadline, and the notice received by the Commission in April 2023, Spain, Ireland and Belgium have not yet adopted the regulations linked to the European Care Strategy. This strategy was born with the objective of “guaranteeing quality, affordable and accessible care services throughout the European Union and improving the situation of both caregivers (professional or informal) and care recipients,” according to the press release that issued Brussels in September 2022.
Finally, after the notices issued by the European CommissionBrussels decided to take the three member states that have not yet communicated the measures, including Spain, before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Three years seems not to be enough for Spain, Ireland and Belgium
Employee well-being and work-life balance are pillars on which Europe aims to build a real and effective conciliation in their member states. In Spain, time flexibility and family and work conciliation seem to be, even today, a pending subject. However, the measures contemplated in the European Care Strategy promise to establish company policies that help achieve the objective.
The measures are intended, among others, to ensure that the daycare and care services long lasting “affordable, accessible and high quality”and to promote the equitable distribution in upbringing of children by parents through “the fight against gender stereotypes and supporting a family-friendly organization of working time.” Also, among the numerous improvements proposed in the plan, strategies focused on increase the participation of women in the labor market.
The European Care Strategy It is intended to support the principles of gender equality, work-life balance, care and support for children and long-term care. These principles are included in the European pillar of social rightsaimed at creating “a strong, fair, inclusive and opportunity-filled social Europe”, as stated on the European Commission website.
The decree that contemplated the measures required by the Commission in Spain, implemented the eight weeks paid leave for the care of children, four days a year due to force majeure and five for family care. However, although the permits are recognized, the 11 months of non-compliance with the measures adopted are not overlooked by the European Commission.