The remote employee hiring platform Deel has collated information about 129 countries around the world, comparing the size of maternity and paternity benefits and the duration of awarded leave this year. How does Latvia look in a global context?
The longest maternity leave that new parents can take, including prenatal leave, is over 50 weeks. This is available in Albania, Australia, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and a number of Balkan countries. However, in the aforementioned countries the situation is not equally rosy in terms of financial support during maternity and paternity leave, which are equally important aspects in assessing how friendly a country is to working parents. For example, in Great Britain, maternity pay amounts to 90% of salary for the first six weeks and is paid by the employer. During the next 33 weeks the state provides compensation of £157.97 per week and 13 weeks can be taken as unpaid leave. In Serbia, a new mum or dad will receive their average salary for 12 whole months. In Australia, although there is no specific parental allowance, anyone can apply for a special state benefit. The most depressing picture is in remote and impoverished Eritrea, where mothers can take nine weeks' leave, but can only dream about benefits. Likewise, in a number of countries, including the Marshall Islands and Palau, neither maternity nor paternity leave nor benefits are even mentioned in the legislation.
In many countries, including Latvia, one can apply for parental leave immediately after maternity leave. In Sweden, for example, employees take maternity and paternity leave as parental leave. Employees are entitled to a total of 480 working days of parental leave. Each parent is entitled to 240 days, and parents can decide how to spread the break up to 150 days. During this period, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency will pay the salary. For up to 390 days, parents receive almost 80% of their salary. From Day 391 to Day 480, parents receive a fixed benefit of 180 kroner per day.
New parents are well looked after in the Baltics
When one compares the 129 countries included in the study, Latvia emerges as one of the most parent-friendly countries in the world, because maternity pay is calculated for both prenatal and postnatal leave, amounting to a total of 18 weeks. Fathers are also entitled to 10 days off after the birth of a child. These leaves are paid in the amount of 80% of the salary previously received. However, immediately afterwards, one parent or both parents can take paid parental leave until the baby is a year or a year and a half old, receiving a parental allowance of 43.75 or 60% of the salary, plus an allowance.
In our neighbouring countries of Lithuania and Estonia, new parents are also well looked after by the state. In Lithuania, maternity leave is 18 weeks, dads get four weeks. Moreover, the allowance is 100% of the salary received. Parental leave can be taken for 156 weeks and for 52 weeks the mum or dad receives their full salary.
At 62 weeks, maternity leave in Estonia is not only significantly longer, but the longest in Europe. Dads are entitled to two weeks and during this period both parents receive 100% of their salary. However, our northern neighbours are not as generous with their parental allowances - 36 weeks can be taken, but without receiving any benefits.
Maternity and paternity leave – time for new opportunities
During the first year of a child's life, being a mum or dad is a "full-time job", but parents may also have free time during parental leave, while their baby is asleep or a little older, and many new parents like to take advantage of this time to learn new skills or look for remote work. This both helps to supplement the family budget, as well as serving as a psychological support mechanism, since it gives their daily routine new meaning.
This is also verified by Deel's latest global report, covering the last six months and gathering data on more than 100 000 employee contracts. It shows that:
- 70% of employees recruited remotely with Deel’s support are young professionals up to 34 years of age, and there are many young parents with small children in this age group.
- The number of professionals recruited remotely has increased by an average of 145% globally.
Deel’s Head of Expansion for Central and Eastern Europe Liina Laas believes that remote work is a wonderful opportunity not just for young parents, but for anyone to find their dream job anywhere in the world, without physically relocating and without having to move away from their loved ones. "Our study shows that 39% of our customers have moved closer to friends and family, because they no longer need to be physically based in another country or city. This is a trend that is transforming the labour market and the way people move around the global world."
Deel is a leading global compliance and payroll solution that helps businesses hire anyone, anywhere. Deel’s technology offers unmatched payroll, HR, compliance, perks, benefits, and other capabilities needed to hire and manage a global team.
Using a tech-enabled self-serve process, Deel’s customers can hire independent contractors and full-time employees in over 150 countries, compliantly and in minutes. With more than 250 legal, accounting, mobility, and tax experts as partners, Deel enables any business to create, sign and send compliant localized contracts from a library of templates and pay teams in more than 120 currencies with just a click.
Founded in 2019 by Alex Bouaziz and Shuo Wang, Deel is a fully distributed company with employees based worldwide. Learn more about Deel here.