Germany ranked among top 10 countries for parental life-work balance

Germany ranked among top 10 countries for parental life-work balance

Employment management company Remote has ranked Germany as the ninth best country for parental life-work balance based on the healthcare system, parental leave and childcare services, among other factors.

Germany ranked ninth best country for parental life-work balance

A ranking of 20 countries, which were included based on population size and “global economic presence”, has named Germany the ninth best country for parental life and work balance.

Conducted by employment management company Remote, the ranking considered nine factors to evaluate the included countries: statutory parental leave packages, statutory annual leave, the global peace index, the cost of living, childcare costs, public expenditure on family benefits, childcare and pre-primary education, healthcare and happiness.

As with the World Happiness, Quality of Living and best places to raise a family studies, Scandinavian countries topped the parental life-work balance ranking, with Norway, Sweden and Denmark taking first to third place respectively. Spain, New Zealand, Poland, Italy and France followed ahead of Germany, with Japan rounding out the top 10. 

Of the nine factors considered to collate the ranking, Germany performed best in only one, “Childcare cost: Monthly price of preschool for one child for full days”, which Remote determined costs each family in Germany 427,39 US dollars per month (394,07 euros). Since 2013, all children in Germany aged 12 months and above have a legal right to a childcare place, which is partially subsidised by the state.

A closer look at family policy in Germany: Kita staff shortages and Elterngeld cuts

While its affordable childcare system brought Germany up in the Remote ranking, the country’s childcare sector is among the worst hit by an ongoing, record-high worker shortage

According to estimations by the ver.di trade union, lack of staff means there is a nationwide shortage of 383.600 Kita (nursery) spaces. While the German government subsidises Kita care, finding a spot for a child is becoming increasingly difficult, with many already beginning the search when they discover they are pregnant.

When it comes to statutory parental leave packages, which Remote considered while ranking each country, the German government is also in the process of making budget cuts. On April 1, 2024, the combined upper-income threshold that two parents could earn and still be eligible for Elterngeld, the social security benefit that new parents can claim while they are on parental leave (Elternzeit), fell from 300.000 euros annually before tax to 200.000. From April 1, 2025, it will fall again to 175.000 euros.

Critics of the German coalition’s cuts argue that the new policy contradicts the initial intentions of Elterngeld; to reduce gender inequality in heterosexual parenting couples by encouraging mothers’ financial independence and return to work as well as motivating fathers’ to be more involved in raising their children.

Meanwhile, the Ampel coalition is making an effort to reduce gender inequality among parents, but at a snail’s pace. Two years after the coalition promised that it would introduce a paid two-week paternity leave period (Vaterschaftsurlaub), several new fathers have sued the state because they were forced to use holiday leave following the birth of their child since the new law is yet to be implemented.

Top 10 countries for parental life-work balance

Overall, the top 10 countries for parental life-work balance according to Remote were:

  1. Norway
  2. Sweden
  3. Denmark
  4. Spain
  5. New Zealand
  6. Poland
  7. Italy
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Japan

To find out more, or read the complete ranking by Remote, check here.

Thumb image credit: Ground Picture /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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