Maternity, Paternity and Parental Leave in the UK’s Top Ten Trading Partners

We reviewed the maternity, paternity and parental leave arrangements in the UK with our top ten trading partners: Belgium, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the US. Here are the results

Interesting points include the fact that:

      Both China and Germany, two of the worlds largest economies, both pay women 100% of their previous earnings, China for 90 days, Germany for 14 weeks.
      Ireland, Belgium and Italy offer women 75-80% of their previous earnings for between 15 and 26 weeks.
      France, Spain and the Netherlands provide 100% of women’s previous incomes for 16 weeks (with ceilings).
      Six of the countries offer paid parental leave.

By contrast, women in the UK are entitled to maternity pay of 90% of income for the first six weeks only and this is followed by 33 weeks at the flat rate of £135.45.

UK employers can claim statutory maternity pay back from the Government and small employers receive an extra 3%.

We often hear that maternity and parental leave and pay are too generous and part of the ‘red tape’ we need to remove to achieve growth and increase competitiveness, but is this really the case? The UK’s trading partners think it is worthwhile investing in supporting working parents. They include some of the world’s most successful exporting nations. It is time the UK Government took a stand to protect parents’ entitlements from ill-informed attacks and started Valuing Maternity.

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