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Britain has one of most frugal workplace benefits systems, Glassdoor finds

A new study from Glassdoor Economic Research suggests that Britain has one of the most frugal workplace benefits systems in Europe.


In a ranking of 14 European countries, Britain comes in the bottom three taking into account factors such as unemployment benefit, maternity and paternity entitlements, annual leave and sick pay. Only Switzerland and Ireland come out worse.


The report, titled “Which Countries in Europe Offer Fairest Paid Leave and Unemployment Benefits?”, conducted in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting, suggests that when ranked in order, the countries offering the most generous workplace and welfare benefits overall are Denmark, France and Spain. When just looking at those countries offering the most unemployment benefits (pay and eligibility period), Denmark and Belgium offer the most and the UK and Ireland offer the least. The study presents an analysis of six key social indicators, including: unemployment benefits, maternity entitlements, annual leave, sick pay, paternity and parental entitlements. For benchmarking purposes, the study also presents how these European markets track against the United States, which almost universally offers benefits well below even the lowest of EU benefits.


Glassdoor’s chief economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, said, “No governments have limitless budgets, but the general perception has always been that the UK provides a generous benefit scheme for all. We now have evidence to suggest that Britain is no longer an easy ride, especially when compared to its European neighbours. Denmark, France and Spain offer far better social benefits that support local workforces. For the UK, it could be argued that parental leave, sick pay and unemployment benefits are particularly meagre.


“Social policy across Europe is generally far more generous than in the U.S. There is, however, considerable variation across the region. Providing workplace entitlements is a complex responsibility for governments. Striking the right balance is never easy.”


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