Ireland is nearly Paddy Last in a list of European countries in a study evaluating maternity leave packages, as per the results of a survey from global employment platform Boundless.
The league table reveals that Ireland offers new mothers 42 weeks of maternity leave with €245 paid weekly for the first 26 weeks.
The UK also ranks towards the bottom of the pile, where new mothers are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, but are entitled to 90% of their average weekly pay in the first six weeks.
Irish employees are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, with an allowance of additional 16 weeks.
Bulgaria boasts Europe’s best maternity package, allowing new mothers to take a minimum of 58.6 weeks off, with its National Health Insurance Fund paying 90% of their full salary during leave.
Similarly, Norway pays mothers 80-100% of their full salary for at least 49 weeks.
“Our league table clearly shows the disparities in maternity leave across Europe and the need for the UK and Ireland to level up by increasing their basic rates,” said Dee Coakley, CEO and co-founder of Boundless.
“But there’s work that can be done at an employer level too and that’s giving extended leave and pay,” she added.