A comparative analysis of paternity leave policies, gender equality, and work-family balance in European Union countries

Giovanni Aulino, Carlotta Amantea, Maria Rosaria Gualano, Maria Francesca Rossi*, Maria Francesca Rossi*, Ivan Borrelli, Silvia Valentini, Umberto Moscato, Francesca Cittadini, Paolo Emilio Santoro

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Background. Paternity leave is a right that allows fathers to take care of their newborns in the first days of life; however, parental leave for fathers is still not recognized equally in European Union countries, with important consequences on the occupational wellbeing of employees. This review aimed to research the current legislation on paternity leave in 27 European Union countries. Material and methods. A review of the legislative framework for all 27 European Union member states was conducted through desk research on the online institutional repositories of the European Union, ministries, or National Institutes of Health of the selected countries to screen information on paternity leave legislation, population size, gross domestic product, gross domestic product per capita, unemployment rate and number of average children per family. Results. Our analysis shows that the duration of paternity leave and the daily allowance for absence from work vary significantly within the European Union. Cyprus and the Netherlands still fall short of the minimum 10 days required by the European directive. Disparities are even more pronounced concerning the period of uptake, as while in Romania, it must be taken within the first 56 days of the child’s life, in Sweden, there is the option to take it within the first 12 years. Conclusion. A unified vision of the issue is needed, since effective paternity leave regulations could have a positive effect on reducing the risk of parental stress and enhancing the birth rate, ensuring the psychological wellbeing of employees during the initial period of parenthood.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)37-48
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2024


  • paternity leave, European Union countries, gender equality, work-family balance


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