UK mums get one of the lowest amounts of decently paid maternity leave in Europe, says the TUC.
According to the organisation’s analysis, the UK ranks 22 out of 24 among European countries that offer statutory maternity leave. While mums in the UK only get six weeks’ decently paid maternity leave, most European countries offer three months or more. For example:
• Six months: Croatia
• More than four months: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic
• More than three months: Estonia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Malta and Switzerland
According to the TUC report, the only European countries offering less decently paid maternity leave than the UK are Ireland and Slovakia, where mums do not get any decently-paid time off.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The UK is in the relegation zone when it comes to decently paid maternity leave.
“Many European countries offer decent support to new mums. But lots of parents here are forced back to work early to pay the bills.”
Director of Maternity Action, Ros Bragg, said: “Without adequate maternity pay, women’s choices are limited and many cannot afford to take their leave entitlements. We should be investing in support for pregnant women and new families.”