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Parental leave: France lagging behind, according to a UNICEF report


This report is based on criteria of access, price and quality of childcare arrangements, but also on the length of childbirth leave.

Luxembourg, Iceland and Sweden are the nations which offer the best childcare policies among the rich countries, according to a report by Unicef ​​which ranks France in 19th position, in particular because of its policy in this area. parental leave.

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These three countries combine "

accessibility, reasonable prices and quality of childcare services

" and "

offer generous parental leave to both parents to allow them a real choice of their childcare

", indicates this report from the UN agency in charge of child welfare released on Friday.

France is in the middle (19th) of this list of 41 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and of the European Union (EU) classified according to criteria of access, price and quality. childcare arrangements, and access to childbirth leave.


The leaves available to mothers in France remain too short (basic leave of 18 weeks at full pay, if we take into account pathological leave, Editor's note) with regard to the needs of the child and in comparison with other countries of the OECD

”, explains Unicef.

In addition, if maternity and paternity leave are relatively well paid, the low compensation for parental education leave and the existence of cultural and professional obstacles make it unattractive


Cyprus, United States and Slovakia at the bottom of the ranking

Less than half of rich countries offer at least 32 weeks of full-paid leave to mothers, the report said. And when paternal leave is offered - always much shorter - few fathers take it, especially because of professional and cultural obstacles. The three countries at the bottom of the rankings, Cyprus, the United States and Slovakia, stand out for "

their low investment in leave and childcare

", seeming to indicate that they see this "

as an advantage rather than a benefit. a national responsibility


In these countries, a low-income parent can pay up to half of their salary for childcare, it is stated.

The United States is also the only wealthy country that does not have a national policy on childbirth leave, although it may be available in some states or for employees of a few large companies, the report notes.

Read also: Less than 1% of fathers request full-time parental leave, according to a study

In a statement, UNICEF encourages states on Friday to reflect on "

paid parental leave of at least six months

" and "

universal access to quality and affordable childcare services, from birth to birth. 'entry into the first year of school



Giving parents the support necessary to give children a solid foundation is not only good social policy, it is also good economic policy,

" said Henrietta Fore, its managing director.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2021-06-22

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