As stated in Ceemet's reply to the 1 phase social partner consultation, it fully supports the general objective to increase the participation of women in the labour market. However, the observations of the employers’ organisations within the framework of this first phase consultation appear to not have been taken into account by the Commission. A sufficient framework already exists at EU level.
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- Ceemet fully supports the general objective to increase the number of women in the labour market; however, we do not believe that there is a need for legislative action to revise existing EU directives on maternity or parental leave, nor to create legislation on other forms of leave. The current directives provide for adequate EU level minimum standards.
- Ceemet recommends the Commission to focus on non-legislative measures, especially such that support Member States in improving access to and quality of childcare facilities, social care for the elderly and all-day schools. The shortage of such facilities hinders female labour market participation and contributes to labour market segmentation.
- The EU needs to respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as well as of social partner autonomy. The Commission should continue to work closely with European social partners independently of the outcome of the social partner and public consultations. Any action at EU level needs to more closely take into account the role of national social partners and avoid duplicating work done on national level.
- Companies together with their workers are best placed to decide the type of flexible working arrangements that can be applied to meet the individual and collective needs. New legislation can have an adverse effect if it does not take into account the challenges faced by individual companies and their workers.