EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES: EP GENDER REPORT RAISES EYEBROWS AT COMMISSION.

Position:European Parliament
 
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The proposed Directive would streamline and modernise old legislation by merging seven existing Directives, some up to two decades old, into a single measure that would also incorporate European Court of Justice case-law into the main body of the text. The changes also update the old rules in the light of EU enlargement and tidy up a few legal and administrative loose ends, but do not fundamentally alter the state of EU law in the field.

Mrs Niebler's own-initiative report for the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee was waved through on July 6 in plenary without much debate over key amendments, according to a Parliament spokeswoman. "(It) supports the goal of recasting the Directive, but also seeks to make some substantial changes and improvements", the EP press service suggests in an explanatory note on the vote's outcome. In particular, MEPs sought to clarify that parental leave is an individual right of each parent (amendment 3). They also wanted to ensure that any less favourable treatment of a woman who is pregnant or on maternity leave should also be considered as discrimination (amendment 31). Moreover, they demanded that member states "ensure that the social partners (employers' and trade unions) promote flexible working arrangements with the aim of facilitating the reconciliation of work and private life" (amendment 71).

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