Better work and life

EU Presidency conference on:

Better work and life: Towards an inclusive and competitive enlarged Union - 12-13 May 2003, Alexandroupolis, Greece

Co-organised by the Greek Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Speech abstract - Isabella Biletta
Research manager, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Reconciliation of family and work life

The reconciliation of work and family life is a long-standing issue at European level.

A Foundation working paper Reconciliation of work and family life and collective bargaining (pdf file), based on an analysis of EIRO articles, was written in 2002 at the request of the High Level Group on Industrial Relations and Managing Change.

Numerous reasons were advanced to explain the increasing importance of the theme over recent years across the EU. 'Specifically, globalisation of the economy, the fast pace of technological development and an increasingly ageing population combined with the increase in female employment.' Because all these factors have an impact 'upon both individual workers and the success of companies', the theme has emerged as a 'core concern of EU policy, national Governments and collective bargaining'.

The presentation focuses on the trends that are being adopted in Europe. The regulation at European level shows some dramatic shifts. The trends identified in different countries highlight both traditional regulation process and some shifts. New challenges have already to be addressed.

Isabella Biletta is on secondment from the French Ministry of Social Policies, Work and Solidarity. She is a graduate in international private and public law. Isabella had taught law at Nanterre University and worked for several years in the French service of public administration dealing with women's rights. Before joining the Foundation in July 2002, she was head manager of a team in charge of French labour policies on social and professional inclusion. At the Foundation, she is currently working on the European Employment and Industrial Relations Glossary (EMIRE) and on the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO). Isabella is a member of the Foundation's working group on supporting social inclusion.

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