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UK ranks 28 out of 31 countries rated for family friendly policies, 13/06/2019 [W/E/S/N.I.]


UNICEF have ranked 31 rich countries based on their family friendly policies. The UK came 28th out of those 31 countries, with only Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland below it.

Using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UNICEF compared

  • Paid leave available to mothers, including maternity and parental leave
  • Paid leave available to fathers, including paternity and parental leave
  • Childcare enrolment under 3, and separately, enrolment between age 3 and school age.

The report focuses on the balance between work and family life, so it does not look at things like child benefits or birth grants.

The report says that family-friendly policies strengthen the bonds between parents and children, which develops families and socially cohesive societies. For this reason, and because the early years are the most crucial in a child’s life, governments should provide parents with the resources that allow them to make the most of this time, nurturing their child, it says.

In the report, UNICEF advocates at least six months leave for all parents, as well as other family-friendly policies.

The report, ‘Are the world’s richest countries family friendly?’ is available from the UNICEF Office of Research website.