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UK parental leave provision compares unfavourably with Europe, says TUC

TUC research has revealed that the UK does not compare favourably to most European countries when it comes to paid leave provision following the birth of a child.

Britain came bottom out of 28 European countries when ranked by number of months of 'well-paid leave' given to new parents. 'Well-paid' according to the official European definition means getting at least two-thirds of pre-leave earnings, or a rate of pay higher than €1000 (£835) per month. The UK came last with 1.4 months, while Norway topped the list with 35.4 months.

The UK fared only marginally better when ranked by the number of months of any paid leave, coming third from last with 9.5 months. Poland ranked highest by this measure, with 48.5 months.

The TUC noted that in the UK around one in four women receive extra occupational maternity pay from their employers.

Arrangements for parental leave are being overhauled in the Children and Families Bill, currently making its way through Parliament. A system of shared parental leave is due to be introduced in 2015.

Acas has plenty of advice for employers and employees on Parental Leave. Acas also offers training on the workplace rights and issues in relation to Maternity, paternity and adoption.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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