Best ‘daddy’ countries
Which countries offer the best paternity benefits to new fathers?
Image: via Shutterstock

Becoming a parent is something many people treasure as a special occasion. Some countries acknowledge that new parents need to spend time with their baby and offer a range of leave and remuneration benefits. Obviously, maternal benefits are prioritised when it comes to birth and the care of a newborn, but some countries see the value in encouraging the father to get to grips with parenting, too. One or two countries allow the father (or even grandfather) to take over the maternity leave benefits if necessary.

Find out the top countries to be in if you’re a new dad:
  • Bulgaria: Father/grandfather may take over the maternity leave, which consists of 1 year at 100% of previous income, 2nd year at a minimum percentage of previous income.
  • Luxembourg: 12 months parental leave (split into two 6 months periods) to be taken by either parent, paid as a fixed rate of €1,710.90 net per month from the Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales.
  • Sweden: 480 days (16 months) (77.6% (80% of 97%) up to a ceiling the first 390 days, 90 days at flat rate) - shared with mother (dedicated 60 days) + 10 working days in connection with the child's birth.
  • Finland: 18 days, can share 158 days with mother after maternity leave.
  • Italy: 13 weeks (3 months) (80%).
  • South Africa: Three days paid family responsibility leave (ie, not officially ‘paternity’ leave).
[All figures from Wikipedia]

Of course, certain companies in SA may offer extended negotiable benefits to new dads as part of an employment package. According to the South African Labour Guide,

“Family responsibility leave is presently an allowance of 3 days on full pay per year, and if the employee does not utilise the family responsibility leave during any 1 year, then any part of the allowance remaining at the end of the year is forfeited and is not carried over to the next year. Family responsibility leave is available only to employees who have been in employment with the same employer for longer than 4 months, and who work more than 4 days per week for that the employer.”

There are many countries, especially developing nations, where there are no guidelines regarding paternity leave, leaving the individual to either take annual or unpaid leave, or no leave at all. In general, the average is somewhere between 3 days and 2 weeks in developed countries.

It certainly appears that the colder Scandinavian countries are warmer towards new dads!

How much leave would you say new dads need?
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