The Alliance for the European year for the reconciliation of work and family life, led by the European confederation of family organisations COFACE, has published the European Reconciliation Package, a document with recommendations for policy and very practical good practices on how to bring together working life with family care duties. AGE has been participating in the preparation of the package.
Work and family-life balance: a major challenge to women of all ages
The numbers are compelling: 13% of Europeans between 50 and 64 care for another family member at least once per week. At the same time, only half of Europeans over 55 work, and women are consistently less employed than men. The presence of care duties in the family is one of the most important reasons for this disadvantage, leading to a gender pay gap of 16% and, added throughout the lifecourse, to a gender pension gap of 39%. Tackling this reconciliation is therefore a cornerstone of any policy that seeks to increase employment of women and especially of older women.
The European Reconcilation Package
The European reconciliation package makes a case for an integrated approach to reconciling work and family life. It looks at accessible, quality and affordable care services to make working possible, flexible working-time arrangements to allow for the flexibility needed even when care services are available, and adequate resources for families. Each chapter looks at the basics of the issue and brings forward policy recommendations and concrete examples on how these recommendations have already been tested in European countries.
The NGO Alliance behind the package
The document has been created by a large alliance of European NGOs that called for a European Year on the Reconciliation of Work and Family Life in 2014. The year turned out to become a second-year extension of the European Year of Citizens, but the Alliance continued working throughout the year to propose this final document.
The Reconciliation Package can be downloaded on the website of COFACE: https://www.coface-eu.org/en/Publications/European-Reconciliation-Package/
For more information, please contact Philippe Seidel from the AGE Secretariat: Philippe.firstname.lastname@example.org