A Work-Life Balance For All? Assessing the Inclusiveness of EU Directive 2019/1158
International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations. Volume 36, Issue 1 (2020) pp. 59 – 80.
18 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2020 Last revised: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: December 12, 2019
This article provides an account of the evolution of the EU legal framework and explores the innovative features introduced by Directive EU 2019/1158 on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers, which was adopted in June 2019. Drawing on the insights of critical literature, which have objected the focus on work-family contrasts experienced by professionals at the expense of workers in lower occupational groups, this article assesses the new Directive against the background of increasing family diversity and the rise of non-standard employment. While there has been some progress as regards the recognition of ‘non-standard’ families, many non-standard workers may still fall outside the scope of the Directive, or may not meet the eligibility criteria to access WLB measures, which has detrimental effects in terms of equality. The article concludes by presenting the rationale for adopting an intersectional-sensitive approach to WLB, which would be functional to an enquiry into the conceptual and practical ambiguities underpinning WLB discourse and policies.
Keywords: Work-Life Balance, Reconciliation policies, Parental Leave, Paternity Leave, European Pillar of Social Rights, Domestic Work, Non-standard Employment, Intersectionality
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