20 March 2020
Work–life balance is a satisfactory state of equilibrium between an individual’s work and private liRead more
Work–life balance is a satisfactory state of equilibrium between an individual’s work and private life. Enabling a better work–life balance for workers across the life course has been an EU policy goal for many years as it is central to ensuring that work is sustainable for all. It is also an important factor in determining the participation of women and older workers in the labour market.Read less
EU contextRead more
On 17 November 2017, the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission formally proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights, which included an initiative to support work–life balance. Subsequently, in June 2019, the Council adopted a new Directive on work–life balance for parents and carers. The Directive aims to increase women's participation in the labour market and outlines a number of new or improved minimum standards for parental, paternity and carer’s leave, as well as flexible working arrangements, aiming to also increase men's take-up of these.
- European Commission: European Pillar of Social Rights
- Council of the EU: Better work-life balance for parents and carers in the EU: Council adopts new rules
- European Commission: Work-life balance
Work–life balance continues to be a significant research topic for Eurofound, in its surveys and other studies, including in the outputs from the recently published European Quality of Life Survey 2016.
- Publication: European Quality of Life Survey 2016
Survey data on work–life balance issues
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Surveys (EQLS) provide comparisons between countries on the reconciliation of work and family life, flexible working time arrangements and the provision of quality care services. The European Company Surveys (ECS) provide data on why and how companies make use of a broad variety of working time arrangements. The European Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS) look at the organisation of working time across the EU and issues related to it including flexible arrangements, working time preferences and work–life balance.
- Survey: European Quality of Life Surveys
- Survey: European Company Surveys
- Survey: European Working Conditions Surveys
Working life and work–life balance
Eurofound's European Observatory of Working Life (EurWORK) provides information on working conditions and sustainable work, and the implications for work–life balance for parents and caregivers, including a database on wages, working time and collective disputes. Eurofound has also estimated the economic and social costs of the gender employment gap and can offer information on the creation of employment in care services.
Eurofound’s annual review of developments in working life in the EU looks at national and EU-level policies to promote work–life balance and investigates the role of collective agreements in this area.
In the context of the negotiations on the work–life balance package at EU level, and at the European Commission’s request, Eurofound has produced a review of national statistics on the uptake of family-related leave by fathers over time across the EU Member States and Norway.
- Observatory: EurWORK
Data and resources
- Data: EQLS 2016: Work–life balance and care questions
- Data: EWCS 2015: Working time questions
- Data: Database of wages, working time and collective disputes
- European Industrial Relations Dictionary: Childcare, Homeworking, Social pillar, Work–balance, Parental leave, Part-time work, Working time
Key outputs over the years
- Publications (284)
- Ongoing work (1)