Maternity leave, this is one of the hottest debates among European parliaments, and it is that the differences between European countries are so abysmal that it seems incredible that they have not been able to agree on something as important and basic as enjoying the birth rate of our children.
Although days have been gained, it has taken many years to get them, and there is really no mother or father who does not seem like a few when they leave their children in a nursery school, with a caregiver or with grandparents. Can you imagine which European countries have more days of maternity leave and which fewer? This is what maternity leave is like in Europe.
In Europe, there is no common policy on maternity leave. Countries such as Norway, the United Kingdom or Italy have extensive paid maternity leave that allows mothers to spend more time with their children.
A curious case presents it Austria, where fathers have more days than mothers to take care of their babies or Germany, a country at the economic forefront that, however, has little loss shared between the father and the mother. This table represents how there are still many rights to be achieved, one of them equality between men and women when it comes to having maternity or paternity leave. And it is that, not only are the days available to the parents significantly less, but there are countries that either do not give days or only 1 or 2.
- Work-life balance is far from what it really should be and, currently in Spain, the mother has 16 weeks of 100% paid leave, extendable to two more weeks for each child from the second or in the event of multiple birth, hospitalization of the newborn, disability of the baby or premature birth. However, since January 1, 2017, the 13 days previously enjoyed by parents have become 4 uninterrupted weeks, extendable to 2 more days for each child from the second. Even so, Spain ranks eighth below in length of maternity days within the European ranking.
- The first job conciliation positions in Europe are taken by the Nordic countries, which seem much more aware of this issue. Sweden tops the list with 64 weeks shared between father and mother, equalizing the benefit between men and women, receiving up to 80% for the first 52 weeks. Norway follows with 56 weeks at 80% for the mother, while the father is entitled to 10 weeks with 100% of his salary. In Finland the mother has 15 weeks plus 22.5 weeks shared with the father.
- On the other hand, we find Queue to Turkey and Switzerland, where in terms of equality there is much to advance, since the mother can enjoy 16 weeks, but the father only has 3 days.
- In Cyprus there is only 16 weeks maternity benefit, but the father does not get any days.
- Slovenia gives 12 weeks and 11 days maternity rights for the father.
- Liechtenstein ranks last with only 8 weeks for the mother, and none for the father.
- Germany has up to 98 days for father and mother, it is a more egalitarian policy.
It must be taken into account that maternity leave in Europe and elsewhere in the world must be equated between men and women so that it does not harm mothers by causing inequalities, since a woman who enjoys more days of maternity than a man is seen by the employer as a "burden"; and, with respect to the man, it is unfair to separate him from his son so soon and deprive him of his work to support the mother.
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