Length of paid maternity leave in European countries in 2016

In Europe the amount of paid leave at a full-rate available for mothers varies quite significantly by country, with Estonia offering an equivalent of 85 weeks, and Switzerland only eight. In Europe's largest economy, Germany, full-rate paid leave equates to 43 weeks, which was relatively high when compared to other major economies in Europe. In France for example, full-rate paid leave was only 19 weeks, while for the United Kingdom it was just 12 weeks.

Full-rate paid leave available to mothers in selected European countries in 2016, in weeks

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* The source adds the following information regarding the term 'full-rate':

"A combination of maternity leave and paid parental leave that can be used by the mother and is not reserved for the father. Unpaid leave is not included. To account for both duration and generosity of paid leave, it is expressed as the number of weeks of leave multiplied by the payment rate for a mother receiving average earnings for that country."

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Statistics on "Pregnancy in the United Kingdom"

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