The Luxembourg Daddy Group is one group promoting fathers to take advantage of the parental leave benefits offered in Luxembourg.
Photo: Patrick Galbats/archive
Lux ranks 9th for having some of the most family-friendly policies among 31 wealthy EU and OECD countries in a newly-released Unicef report.
The ranking places Sweden at the top of the list, followed by Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal.
Among the countries reviewed, using 2016 OECD data and EU national family policy info, Switzerland ranked last. The UK only fared 3 places better, at 28th. Both ranked low in part due to the reduced paid maternity leave in comparison to other countries reviewed.
The US was the sole country outside of Europe without a national policy for maternity leave.
1 of 3 best for fathers
Luxembourg was among one of three countries (alongside Portugal and Sweden) to fare best for paternity leave in Europe. In December 2016, the Luxembourg government reformed parental leave, and between 2016-2017 the cost to the state increased 98% to €166m. Fathers have additionally benefitted additionally since January 2018, when paternity leave was extended from 2 to 10 days.
But Asia takes the lead for dads: Japan is the only country with a national policy of at least 6 months paid leave for fathers, with Korea following a close second.
Improving the outlook
The report further provides a number of recommendations for countries to improve their rankings when it comes to being family-friendly, including better data collection and monitoring and certain guarantees for breastfeeding mothers, e.g., when they return to the workplace.
It also suggests nationwide policies of minimum 6 months parental leave, and for countries to consider better access to affordable childcare across the board.