European Commission wants to secure 10 days paid paternity leave

European Commission wants to secure 10 days paid paternity leave

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
 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
 Netherlands: 2 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

Kiri Scully


Kiri Scully

Raised a global citizen, to an Irish father and American mother, Kiri has lived and worked in five countries over three continents. Fuelled by culture curiosity at an early age,...

Read more



Leave a comment