Countries encouraging greater work/life balance around the globe

The topic of work/life balance is has drawn even greater media attraction since the pandemic led many of us to begin working from home and with topics such as ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘4 day working weeks’ hitting the headlines, employers are feeling the pressure to provide the best wellbeing offering to their workforce that they can.

This National Work Life Week (12th – 15th October) global leaders in corporate wellbeing, Gympass has explored the corporate wellbeing packages being offered around the globe and highlighted where UK employers could take a inspiration from their European counterparts.

Please see below the top employee wellbeing initiatives encouraging greater work/life balance around the globe:

  • FREE CHILDCARE FOR ALL IN PORTUGAL
    As of 1st September 2022, childcare for working parents in Portugal is free for children up to one year old. By 2024 this is set to be extended to children up to 3 years old, giving more parents the flexibility they need to get back to work.
  • GET EQUAL PAY IN GERMANY
    To help ensure equal pay employers must respond to employee requests to disclose anonymised salary details of other employees working in a comparable position, and how they are calculated.
    Also, German law requires that employees be paid 100 percent of their salary or wages by their employer during the first six weeks of sickness.
  • ENJOY A MONTH-LONG HOLIDAY IN BRAZIL
    Did you know, after being employed for 12 months in Brazil, all employees are entitled to 30 paid days off a year. What’s more, at least one of the leave requests needs to be 14 days long, and two at least 5 days long, to promote proper R&R.
  • ENJOY A CHRISTMAS BONUS IN NETHERLANDS
    In the Netherlands, the majority of employees benefit from a ‘13th month allowance’. The allowance, usually equal to 8.33% of salary, is paid around Christmas time, giving a welcome boost to the festive period.
  • WORK 4 DAYS A WEEK IN SPAIN
    Recently, the Spanish government trialled a 4 day working week that any company could participate in. The idea has steadily gained ground, as a means to increase productivity, improve mental health and fight climate change.
  • WORK SMARTER IN ITALY
    Italian employers are adopting a trend called ‘Smart Working’. Employees on a smart working arrangement (which must be written into their contract) work based on the attainment of objectives, meaning that their hours are aligned with achievement rather than time at their desk.
  • SWITCH OFF IN FRANCE
    France’s ‘Right to Disconnect’ law stipulates that employers do not require employees to have any workplace communication, like calls or emails, outside of regular work hours or during their time off. Employers who flout these laws are liable to fines or even prosecution.

However, many HR leaders believe that employers should not wait for legislation to introduce wellbeing initiatives to boost productivity,

“Prioritising employee wellbeing isn’t something that should have to be legislated by governments, but where it has been, you can see how well it is received. We’d urge all businesses to look beyond their own borders and see how wellbeing practices in other countries can be taken on board to improve your own productivity.” said Livia Martini, Chief HR Officer at Gympass.

“As a global business, we get visibility of the best bits of each working culture, with the intention of incorporating what works best for Gympass as an organisation. With employees across the globe we’re constantly learning and seeking to improve based on what our employees tell us,”

“For example, Gympass has recently made its hybrid model permanent, and I think we can all agree that the beauty of hybrid work is the financial, geographic, and mental flexibility it offers employees. It’s so important that working practices are just as nimble and reflect the needs of today’s workforce. The pizza parties and kombucha on tap years are over and we’ve moved into a new era of corporate wellness.”

About Editor 2611 Articles
Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.