Reconciling work and private life

The balance between work and private life is an important chapter in the “European Pillar of Social Rights”. It is a political priority of the EU.

However, only 57% of colleagues reported having achieved a good balance between their private and professional lives (Source Staff Survey 2016). With staff reduction leading to overwork, it has become difficult to reconcile the two.

In addition, inequalities between colleagues have been introduced indirectly, notably through mismanagement and poor planning of demand, resulting in additional workload for certain colleagues.

It is therefore necessary to regularly redefine the workload of each colleague in a team.


The implementation of the 40-hour working week forced colleagues to reorganize themselves to cope with their daily lives.

Some DGs apply the flexitime and part-time decisions correctly and thus allow staff to manage their time in the best possible way while others act at their own discretion!

Nevertheless, despite the rules in force, the use of part-time work and / or teleworking is too often dependent on the sole decision of the supervisor, according to her/his mood or good will. DG HR is absolutely unable to correct any slippages if it does not set itself a good example!

The part-time worker receives less pay, so the savings made must allow for replacement staff to avoid the increased workload for other members of a unit or directorate.

The culture of presenteeism developed by the Institution is a serious mistake. Some colleagues are present paradoxically (without commitment), others excessively (working evenings and weekends), others in poor health. According to some studies, all forms of presenteeism cost the employer more than absenteeism.

It is perfectly possible to reconcile more flexibility in the management of different measures concerning working time with the requirements of services. The staff will feel better and will perform better.

R&D was at the forefront of negotiating the new telework and part-time decision.