Congrats to all daddies out there in Europe! A minimal standard of 10 days of paternity leave for fathers following the birth of their child is coming up!Yesterday the European Parliament and Council agreed on a proposal improving the work-life balance. The agreement sets rules for working parents fitting the 21st century and gives them the opportunity and right to request flexible working arrangements. It gives daddies a standard of 10 days of paternity leave, to be compensated at the level of sick pay. The ‘work-life balance’ initiative was established in April 2017 by the European Commission. It’s not only about the rights of individuals, but it’s also meant to align social and economic priorities, so companies will attract and retain talented people and the European economy will grow. The agreement is not only an advantage for fathers, but it contains more regulations about flexible working arrangements for all (future) working parents.
Paternity leave in European countries
In quite some European countries, men’s maternity leave is already well regulated. Take Sweden for example: 12 weeks off to strengthen the bond between fathers and child. In Denmark this is even 14 weeks and Finland 8 weeks. In France the father gets 11 days with the new born, in Poland 14 days and Belgium the amount of 10 days. Spain also gets quite some time with the little one: 4 weeks. Germany regulates things differently: there is no paternity or maternity leave. 14 months can be divided fairly between father and mother and the government pays a maximum of 1,800 euros per month. Unfortunately there are also less fortunate conditions for the fathers. The differences in Europe are large. Fathers in the Netherlands got two days off, following recent regulations, but starting from January 2019 they get the number of working hours per week. So, if you work 36 hours a week, you'll get 36 spare hours with your little one. Italian men get 1 day off to be with the mother and new born and in a bunch of European countries there is not even a law concerning paternity leave.