A new study on the parental leave different countries provide found Malta to be the ninth worst from the 43 surveyed, with only 15 weeks of paid parental leave, a far cry from the 97.1 weeks enjoyed by Romanian parents at the top of the list.
The study, carried out by job search platform Lensa, looked at the total number of paid leave weeks for both parents and the average payment rate for paid leave to find where in the world parents are offered the most parental leave.
A large difference between the parental leave offered to mothers and father was found across the board.
Romania, for instance, offers over 100 weeks of paid time off to mothers, but only five and a half to fathers.
After Romania, Estonia came in second with 84 weeks of paid parental leave. It is also the only country in the top five that offers full pay for paid leave for both mothers and fathers, although the gender disparity remain with the latter having only two weeks as opposed to 82 for the former.
Bulgaria comes third, with 69.4 weeks of combined full-time equivalent parental leave, while Slovakia manages to reach fourth place despite offering no paid leave to fathers, thanks to a “massive” 164 weeks of paid leave offered to mothers.
Even at an average payment rate of a low 42.2 per cent, this still equates to 69.2 weeks of full pay for mothers opting to take over three years off from work.
Japan is the only country in the top five to offer both mothers and fathers similar rates of parental leave, with 58 weeks of paid leave at 61.6 per cent and 52 weeks at 60.3 per cent respectively.
At the other end of the list, one can find Ireland, where parents are only given 8.1 full-rate equivalent weeks of paid leave. Switzerland (8.2 weeks) and Australia (8.4 weeks) round off the worst three performers, and are also the only three countries from those included in the study to offer less than 10 weeks of paid leave for parents.
Despite offering mothers 28 weeks of paid leave and four weeks to fathers, Ireland’s average payment rate is of 27.3 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively, with these low multipliers sinking the country to rock bottom in the ranking.
Malta, meanwhile, offers 14 weeks of paid leave to mothers, but only two days to fathers. However, the average payment rate is far better than Ireland’s, with mothers getting around 85 per cent of their full pay and fathers getting 100 per cent.
Parents in Malta are also entitled to up to four months of unpaid parental leave, which can be booked in one-month segments by either parents until the child is eight years old.
Parental leave is set to increase across the European Union after the Commission issued a directive to provide fathers (or ‘second parents’) a minimum of 10 working days of paid parental leave.
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