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EU: Both the TPWC Directive and the Work-Life Balance Directive are nearing Transposition Deadline in 2022

Author: Pieter Pecinovsky

Two important directives, which entered into force under the Juncker Commission, are nearing their transposition deadlines. Both the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive (TPWC) and the Work-Life Balance Directive have to be transposed by the Member States by 2 August 2022.

Below, we present a short overview of the main content of these directives:

  1. Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions
  • This is the follow-up of the Written Statement Directive;
  • The employer needs to inform employees in writing of a list of working conditions and other details within 7 days after the start of the contract;
  • New rights for workers:
    1. A maximum term of 6 months for a probationary period at the start of the employment.
    2. It gives workers the right to take up employment with other employers, outside their work schedule, and prohibits employers to subject workers to adverse treatment because of this (there can be restrictions because of objective grounds, such as health and safety, the protection of business confidentiality, the integrity of the public service or the avoidance of conflicts of interests).
  • The Directive obliges a minimum predictability of work, by i.e. a reasonable notice period.It also asks member states to take actions to prevent abuse of on-demand employment, e.g. by setting limitations on the use and duration of on-demand or similar employment contracts, like zero-hour contracts.
    1. Workers with at least six months of service with the same employer, may request a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions (where available) and receive a reasoned written reply (right to ask).
    2. where an employer is required to provide training to a worker to carry out the work for which he or she is employed, such training should be provided to the worker free of cost, shall count as working time and, where possible, shall take place during working hours.
  1. Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of 20 June 2019 on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers
  • Replaces the Maternity-leave Directive.
  • The introduction of paternity leave: under the directive, fathers must be able to take at least 10 working days of paternity leave around the time of birth of their child, compensated at least at the level of sick pay.
  • Ensuring that two out of the four months of parental leave are non-transferable between parents and compensated at a level that is determined by the Member State.
  • The introduction of carers’ leave: workers providing personal care or support to a relative will be entitled to five days of leave per year.
  • Extending the right to request flexible working arrangements to carers and working parents of children up to eight years old.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel

  • Follow-up on the transposition activities by the national legislator or authorities.
  • See whether national rules deviate from the provisions of these directives.
  • Adjust employment practices when the national rules enter into force if necessary.
  • If the Member State does not transpose the rules in time, be aware of claims directly based on EU-law (even if this is usually not possible for Directives).