Mental Health Europe (MHE) has joined calls for ministers to adopt the directive for the mental health of workers, urging them to “respect European citizens.”
On Thursday (21 June), ministers of employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs from EU member states will meet in Brussels to decide whether to back a proposal for a directive focusing on the mental health of workers.
The Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers is the first initiative coming from the European Pillar of Social Rights. It is an attempt to introduce an acceptable framework to address problems parents and carers face every day.
What is MHE’s proposed directive?
MHE’s directive has been a project over a year in the works and, according to a report from the institution: “We believe adequate work-life balance measures, including paid leave and flexible working arrangements, are crucial for the wellbeing and positive mental health of all workers.
“Studies have shown that a good work-life balance reduces levels of anxiety and depression, and positively affects job and life satisfaction.”
MHE has joined other non-governmental organisations, trade unions, members of the European Parliament and members of the European Economic and Social Committee in an open letter, urging ministers to adopt a council position on the proposal.
What does the letter say?
In the letter, it says: “We urge you to respect European citizens and their representatives by moving forward and adopting a Council position on the proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and carers at your meeting on 21st June 2018.
“On this date, you will be asked to position yourself in favour or against the Council position on the EU Work-Life Balance Directive. With your decision, you will not only express your country position on a text, but you will also decide on the fate of millions of parents and carers in the European Union: people who struggle every day to juggle their responsibilities towards their children, families and other people with support needs, with their working lives.
“The existing EU legal and institutional framework fails to sufficiently address challenges faced by its citizens and does not provide adequate solutions for the needs of modern societies. This proposed directive includes provisions for improving equal sharing of work and care between women and men, by introducing minimum standards for paid paternity leave, paid parental leave, carers leave and flexible working arrangements for parents and carers.”
You can read the full letter here.