The European Commission is to send notices to Germany and 18 other EU countries for failing to implement new rules on parental leave, the commission announced on Wednesday.
The new legislation “aims to ensure equality in labour market participation by encouraging equal sharing of care responsibilities between parents,” the commission statement said.
Under the Work-Life Balance Directive, the father or second parent had the right to take at least 10 days off work around the time of the birth, which was currently not the case in Germany.
The rules also foresaw at least four months of parental leave, two months of which could not be transferred from one parent to the other.
German legislation was more generous, allowing parents up to three years of parental leave, of which up to 14 months were paid.
The bloc’s 27 member states had until Aug. 2, 2022, to transpose the legislation into national law, but 19 had not done so, according to the commission.
These countries now had two months to respond to the commission’s infringement notices.
“If the capitals do not implement EU law they have approved, the commission can ultimately take those member states to the European Court of Justice which is the bloc’s most senior legal body.”
Meanwhile Greta Thunberg is to become an ambassador for a Swedish charity foundation that grants wishes to children with serious illnesses.
The 19-year-old Swedish climate activist had been involved with the foundation My Special Day for some time, but was now taking the next step and becoming an official ambassador.
The organisation this said on Wednesday.
Thunberg said she was honoured to be given the role in a video released by the foundation.
“It means a lot to me because I think it’s important to shine a light on the struggle that many children and young people with illnesses silently fight every day,’’ she said.
Affected children need more than just medication to get better, she said: “You need that joy, which is vital because, quite simply, you need to feel meaningful.’’
Thunberg had been open about her Asperger’s, a form of autism that she has called her “superpower.’’
The My Special Day foundation, or Min Stora Dag in Swedish, was established in 2000.
It granted wishes to seriously ill children and created memorable experiences for them and their family.
According to her, 200,000 children and young people in Sweden are struggling with severe illness.
The patron of the foundation for many years had been Princess Madeleine, the younger sister of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.