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Future of work and work-life balance on the EU Council agenda

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
7.12.2017 10.00
Press release

Digitalisation, automation, globalisation, demographic changes and international migration bring about rapid changes in the labour market, resulting in new challenges and opportunities for the EU Member States.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will meet in Brussels on 7–8 December. The Council aims to adopt conclusions on the future of work. The conclusions discuss how changes in the labour market affect employment promotion, labour legislation, health and safety at work, social security and skills development.

The Member States are expected to adopt employment and social policy measures that support people in work-life transitions, facilitate occupational and regional mobility and prevent exclusion from the labour market.

Work-life changes are also reflected on the framework for the EU’s growth and employment policy under discussion in the Council.

The Council will assess progress with the directive on work-life balance. The proposal for a directive aims to facilitate the balancing of work, private and family life, promote gender equality in the labour market and encourage a better sharing of caring responsibilities. Finland endorses the objectives of the proposal for a directive and the Commission’s proposal on paternity leave.

The Council aims to reach a political agreement on the proposal for a directive to incorporate into EU legislation the set of rights and protection measures in the ILO Maritime Labour Convention. The aim is to improve seafarers’ protection against abandonment by ship owners and give them a stronger right to compensation in the event of death or long-term disability. Finland has already implemented the amendments introduced in the directive proposal.

The Council will also discuss matters which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Finland will be represented at the meeting by senior officials.

Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4131

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