UNICEF: Bulgaria Has Third Longest Full-Pay Parental Leave among OECD and EU Countries
June 13 (BTA) - Bulgaria ranks third among the members of
the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
and the European Union in terms of the duration of parental
leave at full pay, a UNICEF report says. Produced by UNICEF's
Office of Research Innocenti, the report ranks OECD and EU
countries from the point of view of national family-friendly
policies. These policies include the duration of parental leave
at full pay equivalent, and childcare services for children
between 0-6 years old.
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal offer the best
family-friendly policies among 31 rich countries with available
data. Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Ireland
rank the lowest.
UNICEF advocates for at least six months of paid leave for
parents, and for universal access to quality, affordable
childcare from birth to children's entry into the first grade of
Only half of the countries offer at least six months of leave at
full pay for mothers. Estonia offers mothers the longest
duration of leave at full pay at 85 weeks, followed by Hungary
(72 weeks) and Bulgaria (65 weeks).
The United States is the only country included in the analysis
with no national paid leave policy for mothers or fathers.
The report also finds that even when fathers are offered paid
leave, many do not take it.
The report offers guidance on how countries can improve their
family-friendly policies: provide statutory, nationwide paid
parental leave of at least six months for parents; enable all
children to access high-quality, age-appropriate, affordable and
accessible childcare centres irrespective of family
circumstances; ensure there is no gap between the end of
parental leave and the start of affordable childcare so that
children can continue their development without interruption;
ensure that mothers can breastfeed both before and after they
return to work by providing lengthy-enough paid parental leave,
guaranteed breaks at work and safe and appropriate locations to
breastfeed and pump. PP