Maternity and paternity leave across the EU

Wednesday 20 October 2010 00:00 BST
(Tiplyashin Anatoly)

European lawmakers Wednesday gave their blessing to hotly contested plans for all new mothers across Europe to have 20 weeks of maternity leave while giving fathers across the 27-nation bloc two weeks to spend time with their newborn.

The length of maternity leave for new mothers and fathers who work currently varies widely from one EU member state to another:

- BELGIUM: 15 weeks. During the first month an indemnity of 82 percent of the salary is paid by the social security authorities, while this payment drops to 75 percent from the 31st day. 10 days' paternity leave.

- BRITAIN: The mother can take 52 weeks leave, the first six being on around 90 percent of salary, the remainder capped at 125 pounds (196 dollars, 142 euros) per week. Fathers can take two weeks' leave on 90 percent salary, capped at 125 pounds.

- DENMARK: 18 weeks, while men have a right to two weeks off after the birth. They receive between 2,500 and 3,760 kroner (335-504 euros, 463-697 dollars) per week.

- THE CZECH REPUBLIC: 28 weeks of maternity leave for a single child. The minimum amount of maternity benefit is 7,600 koruna (310 euros, 428 dollars) per month, while the maximum is 28,890 koruna (1,177 euros, 1,628 dollars).

- FRANCE: 16 weeks split before and after the birth on 100 percent salary. The father has 14 days leave, of which 11 are paternity leave.

- GERMANY: 14 weeks for the mother during which she is fully paid, with 13 euros per day from social security and the balance made up by the employer.

- ITALY: 20 weeks, on at least 80 percent of the salary. Paternity leave under certain conditions.

- THE NETHERLANDS: 16 weeks on a 100 percent salary. Fathers have a right to two days' paternity leave.

- POLAND: 22 weeks for a single child. One week's paternity leave.

- PORTUGAL: Parental leave of 120 days at 100 percent of the salary or 150 days at 80 percent of the salary. It is expanded if the leave is shared between father and mother. The father has separately a right to five days leave after the birth.

- SPAIN: 16 weeks, part of which can be transferred to the father, on full salary.

- ROMANIA: 126 days on 100 percent salary. Five days' paternity leave.

- SLOVAKIA: 28 weeks of maternity leave, on 70 percent of the average daily salary before tax for women with health insurance, and 160 euros (220 dollars) per month for others. Paternity leave with the same benefits as for mothers is also available.

- SWEDEN: Seven weeks before and seven after the birth. Sweden has a flexible parental leave system which can be transferred to the father, which can be extended to 480 days, with up to 80 percent of salary.

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