Are these the best countries in Europe for work-life balance?

work-life balanceA new study by recruitment firm Remote claims to analyze how European countries ensure the balance between work and private life of their employees. The report sets out to take a ‘holistic’ view of work-life balance, taking into account factors such as the minimum wage, maternity leave, statutory annual leave, sick pay, the system country’s health status and the country’s overall level of happiness to help workers determine the best locations for work-life balance. The UK comes in at a modest 28th place, in case you don’t want to click on the report link. Interestingly, Remote has decided to flip the usual term work-life balance into work-life balance, so expect to see both terms used in the following list.

Here are the top 10 countries in Europe that can offer you an ideal work-life balance, according to the report:

  1. Luxemburg

Luxembourg ranks #1 on Remote’s Work-Life Balance Index: it scores well on all key indicators, especially when it comes to statutory maternity leave (100% of your salary for 20 weeks) and statutory annual leave (37 days). With a happiness score of 7.32, Luxembourg is also one of the most satisfied nations in Europe.

  1. Spain

Spain has a strong corporate culture focused on putting family before work when it counts. The country has a government-funded universal healthcare system, as well as a significant minimum wage (equivalent to $10.71/hr). This is particularly impressive given that Spain has a much larger population than the other top 10 countries.

  1. Norway

Norway values ​​a strong work-life balance and this culture is enshrined in its employment laws, and long working weeks are rare across all industries. The country does not have a standard minimum wage like many other European countries. Instead, Norway has a collective agreement between nine key industries that cover 70% of workers.

With a Happiness Score of 7.39, Norway has one of the most satisfied populations in our top 10. They also have a renowned government-funded universal health care system, with health spending per capita being more higher than in most countries.

  1. Germany

Germany has the largest population of the top ten countries (83.8 million), which shows its impressive commitment to fostering a strong work-life balance.

This nation offers workers 30 days of statutory annual leave and 14 weeks of statutory maternity leave (at 100% of their salary). If you are ill, companies are required to pay 70% of your salary while you are away.

  1. France

Like Germany, France is one of the biggest European nations to feature in our top ten. A generous statutory annual leave allowance of 36 days, as well as a high minimum wage ($12.23), are key factors in this nation’s ranking.

In 2017, the French government passed a law known as the right to disconnect, which requires companies with more than 50 employees to create a “good conduct charter”: a document prohibiting workers from responding to emails. outside working hours.

  1. Poland

Poland offers arguably the most generous statutory maternity leave of our top 10. The nation gives parents 20 weeks of leave at 100% of their salary. As for annual leave? Workers receive 33 significant days, although this is 70% of their base salary.

  1. Slovenia

Slovenia (main image) is making great strides in developing a strong culture around work-life balance. Although the country prescribes a relatively long working week of 40 hours compared to other European countries, Slovenia offers good legal leave in return: 33 days of annual leave at 80% of your basic salary and 15 weeks of annual leave. maternity on full pay. In addition, the majority of full-time workers and employees have the flexibility to start and end their day according to their personal needs.

  1. Iceland

When it comes to statutory annual leave, Iceland is unmatched in the top 10: it offers a generous 38 days of paid vacation at 100% of your base salary. And with a happiness index of 7.55, Iceland is also one of the happiest nations in the world, probably helped by the fact that much of Iceland is closed until July, when you can enjoy the best time with your friends and family.

  1. Italy

Italy protects working women looking to start a family by offering solid statutory maternity leave (21.7 weeks at 80% of your base salary). In addition to this, Italy has a government-funded universal healthcare system known as the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). You also get 32 ​​days of statutory annual leave, though only half your pay is protected while you’re away.

  1. Denmark

Denmark is the happiest nation in the top 10, with a happiness index of 7.62 (second overall behind Finland). Women workers also benefit from 36 days of statutory annual leave on full pay, as well as 18 weeks of paid maternity leave (53% of base salary).

Work-life balance is a cornerstone of Danish culture. The Scandinavian nation has a high tax rate that serves to fuel a strong welfare society, benefiting its citizens through free education and healthcare, as well as a smooth public transport system and extensive facilities. Recreation.

Image: Better offices in Ljubljana, designed by Kragelj

Mary I. Bruner