The number of fathers taking parental leave tripled last year after the introduction of higher compensation and more flexible schedules
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more parents take family leave
Family minister Corinne Cahen has unveiled figures showing a 70% increase in the number of parents taking parental leave last year.
2017 saw a surge in the number of parents taking congé parental, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the government by TNS-Ilres. The phenomenon can be credited to the new law governing the conditions under which parental leave can be taken, which came into effect in December 2016.
70% more parents took parental leave in 2017 than the previous year, with a threefold increase in the number of fathers taking the leave. The new law not only increased the maximum compensation received by parents but also added a number of more flexible arrangements for taking the leave to the existing formula of 6 months full-time or 1 year part-time per child. Nevertheless, full-time parental leave remains the most popular choice, with 52.3% of those taking the leave opting for the 6 months off work.
“Many fathers are taking advantage of the new flexible congé parental, taking one day a week over 20 months,” Cahen said after revealing the findings of the survey. “It is clear that this is just a start. We have to continue this discussion so that people can stay at work and spend more time with their children, which is what young parents want these days.”
But the cost of introducing such a popular programme has also increased. Initially a budget of just over €74 million was ascribed to cover parental leave. But the actual cost was €108 million in 2017 and this year’s budget will rise again to €165 million.