EU parental leave directives

After agreements between EU-level trade union and employers’ organisations in summer 2009, new EU directives about parental leave and preventing healthcare workers from medical sharps injuries will soon arrive.

In June, the central “cross-industry” social partners revised their 1995 parental leave agreement, which had been implemented by a directive in 1996.

The revision increases the minimum parental leave entitlement from three to four months per worker, with at least one month of the leave non-transferable between parents.

Other changes include:

  • Protection for workers against less favourable treatment on the grounds of applying for, or taking, parental leave
  • A right for workers returning from parental leave to request changes to their working hours and/or patterns.


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