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EU Commission launches consultation on work/life balance

The European Commission has launched a first stage consultation with EU social partner organisations on how to improve work-life balance and reduce obstacles to women's participation in the labour market. The consultation follows the recent withdrawal of the Commission's 2008 proposal to amend the Maternity Leave Directive. The Commission is committed to replacing the withdrawn proposal with a 'new start' initiative, which will seek to address work-life balance in a comprehensive way. The consultation document gives an overview of the main challenges arising from work-life balance for parents and people with caring responsibilities; takes stock of the current EU-level legislation already existing in the area of work-life balance such as maternity leave, parental leave and part-time work; and invites the social partners to identify possible improvements to existing EU-level legislation.

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