Reconciliation of work and family life

Balancing work and family life is a major challenge for European societies. Mothers are not the only ones concerned, but it is mainly them who share their time between paid work, childcare and the care of elderly relatives. This leads to discrimination in hiring, during their professional career with gender pay gaps (16% on average) and negative consequences on retirement (39% gap on average).

The Mother’s Survey (2011) conducted by Make Mothers Matter on what are their priorities in 16 countries and 11 languages collected close to 12000 responses. What they mainly ask for is:

•   Time for their family

•   Choice on childcare

•   Better recognition by society of the importance of care work and motherhood

This is why MMM promotes the adoption of measures that have a direct impact on their daily lives and that seek to improve the balance between work and family life, with a “life cycle approach (39% gender pension gap on average at the EU). Currently, we are advocating for mother’s rights on the proposal for a Directive aimed at “reconciling work and private life for parents and carers” within the framework of the European Pillar of Social rights. It is expected to be adopted in June 2019 after 4 years of negotiations as a replacement of the maternity leave directive proposal from 2008.

MMM supports:


•   Promoting flexibility at work: the right to request flexible working conditions, “right to request flexible working” (teleworking, reducing working time, flexible schedules etc), allowing parents and carers to have more time with their families

•   Adequately paid maternity leave extended to 16 weeks et EU level

•   Paternity leave of 10 days paid at least 80% of the last salary

•   Paid Parental leave of 4 months per parent (at least at 80% of the last salary) including 2 transferable months

•   Carer’s leave of 5 days per year paid at the level of sick leave


•   Affordable and quality childcare and care services that allow families to choose

•   The free choice of parents and caregivers to be able to devote a time of their life to their family responsibilities


•   The time dedicated to caring for loved ones become “care credits”, so this time is accounted for in calculating retirement pensions to increase its amount

•   Validation of skills acquired when performing family work to facilitate the return to the paid labor market as proposed in the Famcompass EU funded project

•   Time use surveys to measure time spent on unpaid family work and its contribution to the paid economy as a percentage of the GDP

•   The promotion of a “Family Friendly” label for companies and other organisations (EFR Certificate of our member Mas Familia Foundation)

News from the European Delegation on the Reconciliation of work and family life

Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work


MMM is working on the project “Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work”, a European partnership between six countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Spain and Greece). The project aims to support mot

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La Hulpe Declaration: positive step for social justice in the EU


MMM welcomes the recent adoption of La Hulpe Declaration, under the Belgian presidency. This inter-institutional document aims at shaping the future social agenda of the European Union for the period 2024-2029.

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MMM seeks academic partner for new EU Survey


We are searching for an academic partner for an EU survey on issues concerning mothers to be used as a lever for change.

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MMM contributes to EU Care Strategy


In these unprecedented times, when Europe is navigating a global pandemic, when political tensions are boiling over threatening to destabilize the global order, it is vital to reflect on the people who hold the

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An integrated approach to childcare services from a children’s rights perspective


The European Commission (EC) has announced its new plan to develop a European Care Strategy expected to strengthen long-term care and early childhood education and care, as envisaged under the European pillar o

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MMM Responds to EU Commission’s Public Consultation


We answered by submitting a paper describing our views on the future of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan.

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