UK is the “scrooge of Europe” for parental pay

The UK ranks last in Europe when it comes to giving new parents well-paid leave following the birth of their child, according to a recent TUC analysis.

The analysis says that in the UK new mothers get just six weeks of statutory maternity pay at 90% of their wage. Across the Channel, the European average for well-paid leave for new mothers is 43 weeks.

Under the official European definition, ‘well-paid’ means someone getting at least two-thirds of their pre-maternity leave earnings, or a rate of pay greater than £840 (€1000) per month.

Mothers in Britain are also entitled to an additional 33 weeks pay but only at £136 per week – a rate which has fallen in real terms over recent years. And in the UK only about one in four women receive extra occupational maternity pay from their employers.

Similarly the analysis says that there’s not much support available to new dads in the UK. Fathers only receive two weeks of paternity leave, plus the right to take additional paternity pay of up to 19 weeks, but all at only £136 per week. These entitlements are rarely topped up by employers, says the TUC.

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If you need help with an employment law matter, including advice on maternity and paternity rights, contact our specialist solicitors on 01224 370 208 or fill in our enquiry form today.

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