Workers are better off in Europe than in the US
The legal requirements for employees are much more generous in Europe than in the USA. However, they vary widely in different countries. And: Although the parental leave scheme is nowhere more worker-friendly than here, Germany is only mediocre.
For the first time, Glassdoor Economic Research has compared 14 to European countries in a recent study to find out where the rights of workers in Europe are best.
Denmark the "best" country for the unemployed
When looking at all factors (unemployment benefit, parental leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, wage advancement in case of illness and annual leave), Germany is generally only in the middle. The study shows that the conditions for workers as a whole are best in Denmark, France and Spain.
Although, of course, it is never good to be unemployed, Denmark is the "best" country for the unemployed: here, people who have lost their jobs can receive 90 percent of their previous salary - and that for up to two years. In Germany unemployment benefit I amounts to 60 percent of the previous income and is also paid out for up to two years.
Paternity leave? None. Parental leave claims in Germany still top
The statutory claim for maternity protection is at least 14 weeks in all countries considered. Germany fulfills this EU minimum requirement, but - unlike other countries - no longer grants it. While mothers in Germany receive 100 percent of their earnings during this period, mothers in other countries get much less - in Ireland, for example, only 230 euros per week.
There is no legal right to paternity leave in the Federal Republic, as in Finland (45 days). However, these conditions in Germany are balanced by the very generous parental leave arrangements. Only here and in France do parents have the opportunity to stay for up to three years. In Germany they receive two thirds of their wages for up to one year.
Workers in Sweden, France and Denmark have the highest legal entitlement to leave with 25 days. Nevertheless, the Spaniards can make the longest holiday: taking into account the 14 public holidays they have the longest free.
In Germany (with a five-day week) only the minimum 20 days required by the EU apply. Depending on the state, holidays vary between nine and twelve days and help German workers to pay for their spare time. Switzerland is the backdrop, with only meager four legal holidays.
Netherlands with longest sick pay in case of illness
In the Netherlands, long-term sick leave gives workers the longest salary (70 percent), up to two years. In Germany, employees receive up to six weeks full salary, after which the health insurance takes over the payment of 70 percent for up to one and a half years.
In other countries such as Norway, Denmark or Finland, sick workers are entitled to full pay for a full year. Employees in Great Britain, Italy or France, on the other hand, have a much lower claim - and only for a maximum of one year. Germany is in this category overall in the front midfield.
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