Last week, the European Parliament spoke out in favour of equal parental leave rights for same-sex couples with children.
In its report evaluating the implementation of the EU law (Directive 2010/18/EU) on parental leave, the Parliament emphasised that “adequate, individual, compensated parental leave is crucial for same-sex parenting couples to be able to achieve a work-life balance.”
Furthermore, the report welcomes the fact that “some Member States have transposed the provisions of the directive beyond the minimum scope of application, enabling . . . same-sex couples and parents of adopted children to benefit.”
Under EU law, employees have the right to parental leave when a child is born or adopted. However, it is up to each member state to decide on access to this leave, including how much financial coverage is provided.
Maria Arena MEP, a Member of the LGBTI Intergroup and author of the report, said: “When a child is born or adopted, it is very important for parents to be able to spend time with their child to develop a relationship. Having good parental leave conditions is essential to guarantee this.”
“This is the same for all parents, without regard to sexual orientation. It is important that these key rights are ensured equally for everyone.”
Malin Bjork MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Becoming a new parent is a huge undertaking. This is why it is so important the parliament called for adequate, individual, compensated parental leave for all parents, without discrimination against same-sex parents.
“I am glad that the parliament has resisted attempts by the EPP to delete all references to same-sex parenting couples, and stood up for all parents today, by emphasising the need to guarantee equal rights to parental leave for all parents.”
The Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations (NELFA), which brings together LGBTI parents and parents-to-be from all over Europe, has also welcomed the European Parliament’s Report. Maria von Känel, President of the Board of NELFA, said: “NELFA welcomes the Parliament’s report wholeheartedly as it highlights the importance of providing LGBTIQ parents and their children with the same legal protection and rights as any other family in the European Union. NELFA hopes all Member States will pay attention to the Parliament’s message and follow the example of those Member States that have gone beyond the Directive in providing real equality for all families, in particular as regards the right to parental leave for Rainbow Families”.