24,625 people benefited from parental leave in Luxembourg since 1 December 2016
The proportion of dads taking advantage of parental leave in Luxembourg has grown 270% over two years, Paperjam reports.
Families minister Corinne Cahen welcomed the news but joked the new parental leave scheme was going almost too well, because of the increase in cost borne by the State.
She told Paperjam that some 24,625 people benefited from parental leave since 1 December 2016. Of that number, 13,5151 were women and 11,110 were men.
Cahen’s data showed that women were most likely to take the first parental leave and the second, to be taken before the child turns 6, was more attractive to fathers.
Several flexible options are offered in Luxembourg, but by far the most popular was for beneficiaries to take off six months full-time, followed by beneficiaries taking 12 months part-time, which makes up 82% of the parental leave cases.
The government reformed the law in a bid to balance the gender ratio. Their mission was accomplished almost immediately--in December 2016 parental leave was taken by a quarter of fathers. A year later, fathers made up 44.5% of beneficiaries, marking a net increase of 240%. By December 2018, it was almost equally shared with men making up 49.9% of applicants.
Cahen told Paperjam the government now plans to develop a 'parental leave+' to further improve the quality of work-life balance of parents.
“We can see that after parental leave, very many parents want to reduce their working time. But also that [they want] this reduction in working time to be shared between both parents. Which is very interesting for parents and children,” Cahen was quoted as saying.
The minister explained the scheme would involve a fixed-term extension of parental leave, with the State paying social security contributions for the time spent at home instead of the employer so the parent doesn’t miss out with regards to pension contributions. To make it workable for employers, Cahen said there would need to be discussions about extending fixed-term contracts, so that working parents are replaced at work for the period of their leave.