Social partners' equality report covers working hours and work-life balance

Late last month, the European social partners ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and
CEEP released a report showing progress in the implementation of their joint
strategy in the field of gender equality. This report describes how the four
priorities identified in the "framework of actions on gender equality" adopted
in March 2005 have been incorporated in the social partners' activities on
gender equality in 20 countries. It also gives useful information on follow-up
actions taken at European, national, cross-industry, sectoral and company

The report shows that the introduction of the joint European "framework of
actions" in the various national contexts has provided a new impetus for social
partners' work on gender equality. A range of actions has been taken such as
the negotiation of collective agreements, the discussions with public
authorities, the design of new gender equality policies or the development of
projects tackling gender gaps. In the first year of implementation, activities
to translate and disseminate the framework of actions constituted an important
part of the actions taken.

This report also reveals that many organisations focussed their activities
during the first year of implementation on facilitating work life balance .
Social partners have developed various tools to ensure that work organization
responds both to workers' and companies' needs (introduction or extension of
care leave, prevention of long working hours, promotion of flexible and
innovative forms of working such as telework etc.). Social partners have also
worked on the issue of equal pay between women and men through different types
of activities (development of information and guidance tools, training schemes,
studies and/or statistics to better understand the underlying causes of the
gender pay gap, company strategies etc.). In addition, efforts have been made
by social partners to come to grips with the problems of labour market
segregation and of under representation of women in decision-making.

More info

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Trade Union Confederation