Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Ensuring a better balance between work and private life while catering forthe best interests of the child

Françoise Hetto Gaasch (Luxembourg, EPP/CD)

The Standing Committee, meeting in Rome, expressed concern that “the balance between parents’ professional and private lives may be undermined”. The situation could worsen in a context where States must respond to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the parliamentarians, parents do not have enough time to devote to their children because of the demands of their work and the inadequacies of child-care services; many inequalities are established from the very youngest age.

There is a need to invest massively in early childhood and to support parents in their role. In order to meet the needs of children and their families properly, PACE has proposed a series of measures, including employment policies taking account of parental responsibilities for all parents (including fathers); flexible working conditions; longer parental leave for all parents (including fathers), and conditions to ensure that parents taking parental leave are not disadvantaged at work.

The resolution, adopted on the basis of the report by Françoise Hetto-Gaasch (Luxembourg, EPP/CD), also encourages States to adopt a national strategy for early childhood in order to provide the support expected by parents, to ensure that childcare services can continue to function “while catering for the best interests of the child”, and to take into account the difficulties of single-parent families.

Finally, PACE recommended that the Committee of Ministers advocate for negotiations to be opened, for the EU to accede to the revised European Social Charter, in order to “enhance the consistency of European standards with regard to socio-economic rights”.