EFNA has taken an active interest in the European Commission’s paper on the Social Pillar. The Social Pillar provided us with an opportunity to raise awareness of the need to support patients and carers inclusion in EU workplaces. In addition, the consultation also encompasses topics like access to healthcare and social services and long term care which are essential to patients.
With PAE we contributed to the consultation and organised a Brain, Mind and Pain debate on the topic in the European Parliament.
We were aware from our meeting with Raquel Cortés Herrera from DG EMPL that specific areas of disease would not be mentioned. However we are pleased to say that some of our concerns have been taken into consideration, most especially on Work/Life Balance for Carers- a new legislative initiative to grant parents and carers across Europe minimum rights to leave and to flexible working arrangements so that they can better combine work and family obligations:
Carers: Relatives with caring responsibilities have the right to suitable leave and flexible working. For the first time carers leave is included, it is only 5 paid days p.a. but it’s something we can work on.
Employment: People with disabilities have the right to a work environment adapted to their needs.
We will be working to strengthen the proposals in the face of stiff opposition from some employers organisations who will be rallying their support in the European Parliament and at member state level.