In 2019, the European Union (EU) approved two new directives. The first, on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions has two main objectives: to improve employee protections and increase labor market transparency for different types of work. The second, on Work-Life Balance, sets minimum standards for paternity, parental and carer leave and encourages flexible work arrangements. EU (and European Economic Area) member states had three years to transpose the directives into local law (by August 1 and August 2, 2022, respectively), but in practice deadlines to transpose directives are often not met. Accordingly, the majority of member states are still in the process of transposing these directives, with most expected to do so by the end of the year.
The table below lists those member states that have indicated to the European Commission that they expect to transpose the directive concerned at or near the deadline (some others are known to be working on transposition, with all others presumably doing so):
|Working Conditions Directive
|Work-Life Balance Directive
Companies should review the local laws already passed and those pending to transpose the directives in the relevant member states, to ensure that their HR policies and practices, employment agreements, and family-related benefits and policies in general are compliant. The extent to which particular member states will need to amend their laws to transpose the directives will vary depending on the country and directive concerned, but considering the broad and sweeping nature of the two directives, the changes may be significant in some cases and will, at a minimum, make the EU’s employment regime more uniform across the single market.