European Commission wants to secure 10 days paid paternity leave

02 May 2017, by

The European Commission wants to secure longer leave for fathers in Europe. They propose that all Member States offer at least 10 paid working days to fathers. 

The EC proposal

If the European Commission’s proposals for social policies goes through, they predict they will see some resistance from the Member States who would then have to adhere to the new law. Many believe that paternity leave is a national issue and Brussels should not interfere.

Paternity leave in the Netherlands

The Netherlands offers a generous amount of paid leave, yet despite this, fathers are only entitled to two paid days of paternity leave (kraamverlof), and three days of unpaid leave (ouderschapsverlof). This is very low when comparing the Netherlands to the other EU Member States.

A proposed extension

Foreign Minister of Social Affairs, Lodewijk Asscher proposed increasing the number of days to five. The extra days would have gone into effect in 2019, but the political party VVD asked for it to be put on hold until the formation of the new government was complete.

Countries with no paternity leave

Whilst the Netherlands grants an embarrassing two days of paid leave to its new fathers, other countries in the European Union barely offer any. Italy gives their fathers one day, whilst Germany, Ireland, Malta, Austria, Slovakia and Cyprus offer none. 

Days of paternity leave in Europe:

According to the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the following paternity days are granted to new fathers in Europe:
Slovenia: 90 days
Finland: 54 days
Lithuania: 30 days
Portugal: 20 days

Paternity leave

Spain: 15 days
Bulgaria: 15 days
Poland: 14 days
Great Britain: 14 days
Denmark: 14 days
France: 11 days
Sweden: 10 days
Belgium: 10 days
Estonia: 10 days
Latvia: 10 days
Croatia: 7 days
Hungary: 5 days
Romania: 5 days
Luxembourg: 2 days
Greece: 2 days
Italy: 1 days
Germany: 0 days
Ireland: 0 days
Malta: 0 days
Austria: 0 days
Slovakia: 0 days
Czech Republic: 0 days
Cyprus: 0 days

Source: EPRS

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Comments arranged by date (Total 1 comments)  
May 04 2017, 12:05PM

This article fails to consider the paternal leave (not paternity or maternity). In Germany, the paternal leave can be split between the father and the mother for a total of 14 months. In Sweden each parent can get a year of paternal leave. Hence in reality the father often gets several months of paternity leave.

About the Author
Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five c...



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