Labour paternity leave pledge: How does the UK compare to other OECD countries?

Ed Miliband is advocating an increase in paternity leave (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Ed Miliband has promised that if his party gets into power this May, it will dramatically increase paternity leave and pay.

New fathers will get four weeks off and £260 a week under the new proposals: double the time and £100 a week extra.

But the plans, which were first suggested by the Institute for Public Policy Research last year, have been criticised by some in the business sector as likely to put a strain on smaller businesses.

But how does the UK compare to other countries anyway? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes data on 21 countries, showing the average time for fathers to receive paid leave in the region is 4.8 weeks (four weeks and four days), larger than Milliband’s proposed changes.

The rate is dragged up by countries such as Luxembourg (27.4 weeks) and down by the likes of the US, Australia and New Zealand, all of which offer no paid paternity leave at all.

Here's how the UK compares...

Source: OECD (most recent data 2011)

From April new rules on shared parental leave come into place. Under the new rules, after an initial two weeks, up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared between new parents.

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