Which countries are best for working parents?

It’s challenging enough being a working parent without struggling against difficult legal and social circumstances. However, the reality is that some countries are more helpful than others when it comes to paving the way for professionals to pursue a career while also having children. 

Nowadays, it’s common to want to pursue parenthood and have ambitions of a rich career. Yet, when the odds are stacked against you, it can make finding a healthy balance difficult. If you’re contemplating making a move to find somewhere to settle that accommodates your family and professional goals, there are a few factors to bear in mind. 

What should you consider?

  • Flexible working

After the coronavirus pandemic switched up the nation’s expectations of working routines, flexible arrangements have gained popularity. You should think about whether you need different working hours to accommodate your family life and flexibility in working from home. 

Many roles can be done independently and remotely, so think about locations which support this method of employment.

  • Early education and childcare

In the UK, with the cost of living going up, working parents are impacted in unique ways. Childcare costs have become unaffordable for many people, with some parents reducing working hours or contemplating leaving employment to save on fees. 

When thinking about a new location, consider local childcare or early education provisions. This is especially important if all adults in the household are considering full-time work or there are multiple children to consider, as you’ll need to know you can cover the cost of childcare in your salary. 

  • Paid leave 

If you’re hoping to become a parent, whether for the first time or for additional children, paid leave is an important factor. It can be an incredibly difficult period, and work isn’t possible for many people. You need to know you’ll be supported while you settle into life with the newest member of the family. 

In the UK, you’re entitled to some statutory leave when having a baby or adopting a child. There is also the option to use Shared Parental Leave for flexibility in supporting your family during those early months. This isn’t the case for every country, so look into this closely. 

Which are the best countries for working parents?

To find out which countries are best for working parents, banner-printing specialist instantprint analysed the support systems in place for parents in 31 nations around the world to see who ranked top. The study looked at a few factors, including paid and unpaid maternity and paternity leave, average spending on rent and utilities and average childcare fees. 

Taking gold for the most parent-friendly country is Sweden. With 480 days of leave spread between two parents, manageable bills in relation to salary and low childcare costs, the Swedish system supports working parents well. 

The rest of the top five countries features Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, and Romania in descending order. All these countries find a good balance between available leave and the portion of salaries taken up by childcare fees. 

Which are the worst countries for working parents?

Those countries ranking lowest shared a higher cost of living alongside a more minimal parental leave policy. 

Luxembourg was deemed the least parent-friendly nation analysed in the survey, with only 20 days of statutory leave offered to mothers and an average cost of over £2,000 for rent and utilities monthly. Likewise, the USA doesn’t have a formal policy in place for new parents, making America the only rich nation which fails to offer statutory support. Other nations with the least impressive overall proposition included Germany, Austria, Belgium and Denmark.

Although the UK compares favourably for leave offered, the rising cost of living and average commitment of nearly £1,000 on childcare fees brought it down in the rankings. 

This is a collaborative post.