Parental leave in private sector usually unpaid

16/12/2010 15:00

One quarter of employees in the private sector taking parental leave were partly or fully paid. With four in five, the proportion of employees on paid parental leave was significantly higher in the government sector and the care sector.

Proportion fairly stable in recent years

Although employers are not obliged to pay their employees during parental leave, they often do. Last year, more than half of employees on parental leave (43 thousand) were partly or fully paid. The proportion has been stable in recent years, but increased over the period 2000–2005, partly due to the sector education where parental leave schemes were upgraded. 

Proportion of employees with paid parental leave by sector

Proportion of employees with paid parental leave by sector

Paid parental leave schemes most common in the sectors government and care

Employees in the public sector and the sector health care and welfare are much more often paid during a period of parental leave than employees in the private sector. Last year, 79 percent of employees on parental leave in the public sector and the care sector were paid versus only 25 percent of employees in the private sector.

Higher educated in the private sector less often get paid

Higher educated employees in the private sector less often get paid than their colleagues educated at lower or secondary level. On average, nearly one quarter of higher educated employees in the private sector were partly or fully paid during parental leave in the period 2001/2009, as against nearly 30 percent of employees at lower and secondary level. In the public sector and the health care and welfare sector, on the other hand, higher educated employees on parental leave more often got paid during a period of parental leave than lower and secondary educated employees: 64 versus 56 percent.

Proportion of employees with paid or unpaid parental leave, 2001/2009

Proportion of employees with paid or unpaid parental leave, 2001/2009

Doreen Ewalds