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

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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Final adoption of the Work-life balance Directive


Following its adoption by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, the Work-life balance Directive has been finally published in the Official Journal on the 12th of July 2019. The Directive sets a num

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An agreement finally reached by the Council of the EU on the work-life balance directive


After 2 years of intense negotiations among the EU institutions, on June 13th 2019 the Council of the EU Ministers adopted a Directive on work-life balance for parents and caregivers with a large majority in fa

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MMM highlights persisting gender inequalities at EU levels


On the 31st of May 2019, the EU Delegation of Make Mothers Matter responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on the current EU strategic framework for gender equality (2016-19) and submitted a

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European Union, Brussels - in the lead up to the recent EU elections, our EU delegation went behind the scenes at the heart of decision making - the EU Parliament - to get reactions from MEPs about what really

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Work-Life-Balance: Eu Parliament voted the new Directive


The EU Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and family carers gained a very large majority, in the European Parliament on the 4th of April 2019 (490 votes in favor, 82 against, 48 abstentions). The main a

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