This report covers plans within the European Union to introduce mandatory EU-wide paternity leave of two (2) months.
On 21 June 2018, the European Council1 agreed on a general approach to the Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers.2 The Council wants to introduce mandatory paternity leave of two (2) months in all European Union (EU) countries of which one-and-one-half (1½) months would be fully compensated.
The introduction of a mandatory minimal threshold for paternity leave across Europe is expected to raise the number of women (working full time) in the work force, to improve the work-life balance in the family, and to help employers keep skilled workers. Ultimately, the change is expected to help boost economic growth in the member states.
Needless to say, if this change is adopted, it would impact all employers across the EU, as well as those employers outside the EU who have EU staff working in their company. Company HR and assignment policies would need to be altered to incorporate this statutory change.
Gender equality is a strategic priority for the EU Council and the Eurostat's Gender Statistics of February 2018 support the need for such focus:
Further, it has been noted that the EU member states have limited, if any, legislation for paternity leave.3 Paternity leave with compensation in Sweden is 90 days, while in countries like Germany and Austria there is no legislation for paid paternity leave. In the Netherlands, paid paternity leave is only two days, but as of next year it will be five days of paid paternity leave and more changes in this direction are expected in 2020.4
The Council will initiate negotiations with the EU Parliament on adopting the changes to the Directive in the near future.5 As elections for the EU Parliament take place next year, it is expected that the Parliament will take a position on this initiative before then. Employers should stay abreast of this initiative, since, if it becomes EU law, it will pose a drastic change to the current situation.
1 The EU Council defines EU's overall political directions and priorities. The members of the Council are the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states. The president of the Council is Donald Tusk.
2 See the European Council 21 June 2018 press release.
3 Read statistics from 2016 from Members’ Research Services of the EU Parliament (PDF 298 KB).
4 Ibid. Also, for Sweden, see the government’s Försäkringskassan webpage (in Swedish). For additional information on the Netherlands (in Dutch), see the Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid webpage.
5 The EU Parliament consist of 751 members elected in each EU member state. The EU Parliament and the EU Council constitute the highest legislative body in the EU.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Denmark.
© 2020 KPMG P/S and KPMG Acor Tax P/S, both entities being Danish limited liability partnerships and member firms of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.
For more details about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.
Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.