The European Parliament's new Work-Life Balance directive has been signed into EU law.

Member states will now transpose the directive, which aims to improve the quality of life of families, parents, workers and carers.

The new law was signed at the European Parliament in Brussels by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, in the presence of parliament’s rapporteur and lead negotiator MEP David Casa.

Speaking after President Tajani signed the directive into law, Mr Casa said that all member states, including Malta, should start the process of introducing the rights catered for in the directive.

These rights had to be introduced within three years. They include the introduction of 10 days of paid paternity leave, two months of paid parental leave, five days of annual carers leave and the right to request flexible working arrangements.

This law was a direct investment in families across the EU. It would ensure a better sharing of caring responsibilities between men and women helping reduce the gender employment, pay and pensions gaps.

MEP Casa led the EP negotiations with the European Council to ensure that the directive reflected realities and ensured that the new rights would not be a huge burden on businesses, especially SMEs.

Mr Casa thanked European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen for her cooperation during the negotiations.

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