Protection for Maternity – Social, Economic and Political Trends in Selected EU Countries
Purpose: The authors attempt to identify differences within adopted models for calculating how various maternity benefits influence changes in expenditures on maternity and paternity benefits and the level of births and total fertility in Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, and Poland between 2009-2019. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper was written based on the available literature, current legislation, reports of social security institutions. During undertaken research, comparative, descriptive, and interdependence analysis methods were used. First, an overview of family policy trends and instruments of the social protection of maternity in Europe were presented. Then, characteristics of the construction of maternity allowances in selected countries were performed. Finally, a comparative analysis of the influence of family policies on birth and total fertility was carried out. Findings: All the selected countries differ significantly in their approaches to maternity allowance, e.g., the duration of maternity/paternity leave, the amount, and construction of paid benefits. The research allows assessing the validity of governmental actions, the impact of benefit increases, and the changes being seen in the number of births. Practical Implications: Provides relevant information for Human Resources teams. It allows HR specialists to familiarize themselves with the diversity of regulations governing the matter of the maternity allowance for both parents, and correctly address the growing diversity and inclusion within the organization. Originality/Value: Both the public sector and the private sector may benefit from comparisons between countries in terms of parent support presented in this article. The paper can provide guidelines for government members and policy makers in other countries. The latter with an emphasis on the developing SSC / BPO area, employing employees from all over the world and creating new branches in various countries.