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EU - 13.06.2019 klo 15.47

EU directives to extend paternity leave and make work shifts more predictable for zero-hour contracts

EU directive intends to extend paternity leave. Photo: Getty Images

The EU has approved two new labour directives: the predictable work directive and the work-life balance directive. These new directives may help employees with zero-hour contracts plan their lives better while ensuring longer family leave for fathers.

On Thursday, the European Council gave its final approval for two labour directives which the European Parliament had previously approved.

The directive on transparent and predictable working conditions (the predictable work directive) is largely in line with Finland’s existing legislation. According to a press release from the Finnish Government, the working hours for employees with non-standard, such as “zero-hour”, contracts should be made more predictable by requiring employers to offer shifts in sufficient time before the scheduled beginning of work.

The work-life balance directive, aiming to improve gender equality, is also consistent with Finnish legislation, but requires an extension to the family leave allocated to fathers. The new Government of Finland has already announced its intention to extend paternity leave in its Government Programme.

Meanwhile, the proposed entitlement to five days of family care leave requires amendments to the Employment Contracts Act, states the Government release.

The directives will enter into force later this summer, 20 days after they have been officially announced. They must be implemented within three years of their entry into force.