Informal Meeting of Ministers of Employment, Social Affairs, Family and Gender Equality (EPSCO)
The theme of the meeting, hosted by the Estonian EU Presidency in Tallinn on 19–20 July, is work–life balance.
In his contribution to the debate on flexible working arrangements and work–life balance, Eurofound’s Director, Juan Menéndez-Valdés, presented research by Eurofound on issues including the gender gaps in relation to caring responsibilities, and to working time over the life course as well as the difference between actual and preferred working time for men and women. Among the possible arrangements to improve work–life balance were reduced working time, flexibility in working time and varying the place of work. Telework – the use of ICT by employees to work away from their employer’s premises – can contribute, with research showing that working time autonomy is greater among teleworking employees. A downside of this increased flexibility, however, is that it can lead to employees working in their free time. A comparison of statistics from across Member States indicated a high level of diversity in the take-up of telework. The presentation concluded by noting that social dialogue can play a role in promoting flexible working arrangements, particularly through work–life balance clauses in collective agreements.
Agenda: Informal Meeting of Ministers of Employment, Social Affairs, Family and Gender Equality (438KB PDF)
Background paper: Work–life balance and flexible working arrangements in the European Union
Presentation: Flexible working arrangements and work-life balance (879KB PDF)
Photo album (Photos: Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE))