The UK has been dubbed the “scrooge of Europe” by the TUC over its level of parental pay.
The organisation said the country ranks last in Europe when it comes to giving new parents well-paid leave following the birth of their child.
A study found that new mothers get six weeks of statutory maternity pay at 90 per cent of their wage while elsewhere in Europe the average for well-paid leave for new mothers was 43 weeks.
Mothers in Britain are also entitled to an additional 33 weeks pay at £136 per week - a rate which the TUC said has fallen in real terms under this government.
Only one in four women receive extra occupational maternity pay from their employers in the UK, said the report.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Unfortunately when it comes to supporting parents looking after a new baby, the UK is the scrooge of Europe.
"Countries across Europe are incredibly diverse, especially in the challenges they face, yet all of them have found ways to offer better support for new parents.
"A modest way to start turning this around would be for the government to give new fathers six weeks' of well-paid leave.
"Without a properly-paid system of shared parental leave, women will continue to be forced to put their careers on hold as they continue to be the primary carers in their child's all-important first year."