The top three countries in the world for work-life balance are the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, according to a new report by global employee benefits and insurance firm William Russell.

The report, which looked at which countries have the best mental well-being in the world, analyzed a list of countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on a number of different factors relating to positive mental health in each country, including work-life balance. Each country was given a normalized score out of 10 for each factor before taking an average across all factors to reach the final score out of 10.

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In terms of work-life balance, the Netherlands and Switzerland tied for the first spot, with just 0.4 per cent of both countries’ populations working very long hours. Indeed, the report found almost half of the Netherlands’ population works part time, while Switzerland has a strong work-life balance thanks to its generous policies on parental leave, childcare benefits and holiday pay.

For Sweden, which took second place, only 1.1 per cent of its working population clock in more than 50 hours a week. The report suggested this is a result of the country’s recently adopted six-hour workday and the flexibility many Swedish employees are allowed when it comes to adjusting their work hours to their lifestyle.

Comparatively, the report placed Canada near the middle of the rankings for work-life balance with 3.7 per cent of its employed population working long hours. This compared to 7.7 per cent in France, 12.2 per cent in the U.K., 13 per cent in Australia and 25.2 per cent in South Korea.

In the overall ranking for the best countries for mental health, Sweden was the top-ranked country with a score of 7.13, followed by Germany (6.60), Finland (6.47), France (6.40), the Netherlands (6.27), Italy (6.07), Canada (5.80) and Norway (5.73).

In terms of each country’s governmental spend on mental health, Canada ranked highly at 10.6 per cent, only bested by France (15 per cent), Norway (13.5 per cent) and Germany (11.3 per cent).

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