Do you get any paid maternity leave? Do you think, the way maternity leave is organised in your country works well? Or is it absolutely too little or too less paid or too inflexible?
Ever wondered how other countries deal with maternity (or paternity) leave and parent care time? The following article will give you the most important points of how maternity leave, parent care and dismissal protection after birth is organised all over the world. Enjoy reading!
Mothers have the right to take up to 90 days maternity leave in total. Maternity leave starts 30 days before planned child birth and ends around 60 days after. During this whole time, 100% of the gross salary is paid by the pension fond “Anses“. Fathers have only 2 days of paid paternity leave after child birth. After birth, the so called “lactation hour” starts, lasting one year. This hour gives Mummy the chance to (breast) feed her child and she is flexible to take it whene
ver she needs during a working day. After birth, the mum enjoys 7 months of dismissal protection. She also can decide to take a leave of absence for at least 3 months up to a maximum of 6 months during which she isn’t paid but can keep her position at the company where she works.
A pregnant employee is entitled to take maternity leave 17 weeks before due date and is also entitled to parental leave 17 weeks after maternity leave began. It’s completely up to the employee how long they want to take that leave as it’s usually without payment. Some employers support the employee and pay up to 60 percent of their wages.
The law in China gives mums-to-be a total of 98 days of maternity leave which she can start from the 15 days before the estimated birth date. During this 98 days she gets paid 100% of her salary (but no bonus). If the woman expects multiples, an additional 15-days period is given per infant. If the woman is considered as a case of “late child birth”, having her first child by the age of 24 or older (!!), she gets roughly 30 days of additional “late maternity leave”. In general, fathers get 14 days of paternal leave but this may vary from region and depends on the social security the father is registered. During the first year of the child, women are granted the so-called “breast feeding period” during which they get one hour per day to breast-feed their child. Usually, this time is accumulated and taken as additional vacation. In theory (and by law), women can’t be fired during her pregnancy or the first year after child birth. However, many companies (in particular smaller and medium sized ones) let female applicants promise to not get pregnant during their first 2 years of work. Although, this is illegal (and therefore won’t be part of the job contract), many women lose their jobs if they don’t stick to this promise. This is different in big companies and governmental organisations.
Colombia’s mums enjoy 3.5 months of paid maternity leave, which they can start with from 2 week before the planned birth date. Dads have a paid paternity week from birth on (so called “la Ley María“). From the moment, the mother starts working again until the baby is 6 months old, she is given a so called “lactation hour”. This hour is meant to (breast) feed your child and can be taken in a flexible manner during a work day (any mother has her own way of dealing with it – some work places are more flexible and mum can leave her workplace to feed her child, whereas other jobs aren’t so flexible and mums tap their milk with a breast pump and have someone bring it to the child).
The maternity leave is given for a period of 18 weeks starting at anytime between the sixth to the second week prior to the expected week of birth. During that time, the mother is paid by the social insurance about 60% of her net income. If there is already a child in the family, 70% is paid. Recently law changed for women with twins and now twin mums are given an additional month of maternity leave. By law the mother can’t be fired for the first 9 months of the child. Until the child completes one year, mothers are given one hour per day where they can leave earlier from work. Both working parents are entitled to an additional of 18 weeks unpaid paternal leave after the maternity leave passes.
By law mothers are given an obligatory maternity leave during the 6 weeks before child birth and the 8 weeks after birth. During that time, they are paid 100% of their normal salary (partly by their employer, partly by their health insurance). After that, they can decide whether to take the so called “parent time” (“Elternzeit) or not. The “parent time” can be regularly taken within the first 3 years of the child and can be interchanged between mother and father, if they want (with some alteration parents can also take that time when the child is older, for example to have more time with the child when it starts going to school). Within the taken parent time, a maximum of 12 months (if the father takes also parent time, a maximum of 14 months) will be subsidised by the state. During that time, the state pays the parent who is staying home between 60-65% of his former average income (but max. 1.800 € per month, about 2,000 USD). By law, the mother stands under dismissal protection can’t be fired from her work during the first 3 years of the child (dismissal protection).
Although, Indian government has established the so-called “Maternity Benefit Act“, maternity leave is practiced very unequal and it depends a lot on the company a woman is working for. In the private sector and especially smaller companies women can nearly take any maternity leave. Civil servants or employees of big, international companies usually are entitled for 84 days (12 weeks) of paid maternity leave of which she can take 6 weeks before birth. In case of pregnancy complications, an additional month of paid leave is given. Full pay is only given, if the woman has worked at least 80 days for the organisation 12 months prior to the estimated birth date. In addition, the Indian Central Government established a medical bonus of about 3,500 Indian rupees (about 50 USD). For fathers, there is no parental leave established yet.
A pregnant employee is allowed to go on the maternity leave from 6 weeks before to 8 weeks after the birth. Maternity leave is paid up to ⅔ of the basic salary, whereas it is mostly paid by the social insurance. If the employer decides to pay a part, the social insurance payment will be reduced. Interestingly, the employer pays the workers’ social insurance during that time. After the employee comes back to work, this amount is reduced on his salary. Mum or dad are allowed to go on parental leave after the maternity leave until the child turns 1 year old. In total this can be up to 14 months (but no more than 12 month by one parent). In cases where the partner becomes sick or unable to look after the child, it could be up to 1.5 years. Surprisingly, the Japanese and the German system give parents very similar rights here.
In Kenya, maternity leave laws are quite simple. Mothers get 3 months of fully payed maternity leave after birth. Fathers get 2 weeks of paternity leave, where they also receive 100% of their salary. In general the employer pays. Mothers who were unemployed by getting pregnant get no social welfare regarding their pregnancy or motherhood. There is also no real dismissal protection for mothers in place but by law mothers should be given the same position or better in their job after they return from maternity leave. There is also no rule for parental care.
Women have the right for pregnancy leave 8 weeks before the planned birth date and maternity leave 8 weeks after the actual child birth. In cases of premature birth, multiples or where mothers breast feed, maternity leave can be prolonged up to 12 weeks after birth. During that time, mothers are also protected by the dismissal protection act. Parents can take a parental leave up to 6 months full-time or up to 12 months part-time. During that time, parents get benefits from the Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales (CNPF), the National Family Office. For full-time parental leave a maximum of 1.710 € ( 1,870 USD)monthly is paid, for part-time a maximum of 855 € (940 USD).
In Nigeria, mothers get 3 months maternity leave during which they still receive 100% of their pay (if they already work). The law does guarantee them further time off with pay. Mothers may choose to leave work for longer but this will not be paid for. Fathers get only about 3 days paternity leave as there is still a very cultural bias that child care is for mothers only. Other than that there is no parent care system in Nigerian. This is why parents tend to rely a lot on relatives that help to assist in child care.
Quite recently, maternity laws have changed for the better in Paraguay. With the “Ley 5.508 of the “Promotion, protection of maternity and mother’s lactation aid”, mothers in Paraguay may now take up to 18 weeks of 100% paid maternity leave. Fathers may take up to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave. Also, private and public companies are obligated to provide special lactation rooms in cases where more than 30 employees are women. After the mother has started working again, she is granted up to 90 minutes per day during the first 6 months to breast feed her child.
Swedish parents are entitled to around 16 month (480 days) of paid parental leave of which 2 months (60 days) are reserved for the father (a third month for fathers from 2016 is planned). For 390 of the days, benefits are calculated on a maximum monthly income of SEK 37,083 (4,360 USD), as of 2015. The remaining 90 days are paid at a flat rate. Parental leave can be taken until the child turns eight years old. Also, during the first eight years of the child, parents may reduce their work up to 25 percent. Those who are not in employment are also entitled to paid parental leave.Women who work in typically strenuous jobs are entitled to additional pregnancy benefits by taking time off work earlier during their pregnancy. The benefits equivalent to 80% of the mother’s salary and can be paid as early as 60 days (two months) into the pregnancy and continue up to 11 days before the due date. In addition, there are free or subsided courses and other benefits for birth and motherhood. Also many Swedish hospitals have adjoining ‘hotels’ where new mothers and their partners may stay for two or three days (with all meals included) after a birth.
United Kingdom
The Statutory Maternity Leave (SMP) is 52 weeks in total and is made up of first 26 weeks “Ordinary Maternity Leave” and last 26 weeks “Additional Maternity Leave”. SMP is paid for up to 39 weeks, where mum gets 90% of her average earnings for the first 6 weeks and a weekly £139.58 (212 USD) or 90% of her average salary (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks. Mothers don’t have to take 52 weeks but must take at least 2 weeks’ leave after child birth (or 4 weeks if she works in a factory). Usually, the earliest mum can start maternity leave is 11 weeks before the expected childbirth. For children that were born on or after 5 April 2015 there is also the option to take a Shared Parental Leave where parents are paid a Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). ShPP is £139.58 (212 USD) a week or 90% of the average earnings, whichever is lower. Parental Leave must be taken within the first year after child birth and can be shared between parents (blocks are taken, parents can’t take parental leave at the same time).
United States
In the US, maternity leave is organised in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 which also covers ill parent or child care as well as others. The FMLA provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for mothers to care for their newborn or adopted child. By law, employers are also require to provide reasonable break time for nursing mums for one year after birth each time the employee has need to express the milk. Therefore, an adequate room must be provided. Surprisingly, the US has no parental leave policies and in total provides very little benefits for parents. Such, in an international review of parental leave policies run in 2014, the International Labor Organization found out that within the 185 countries that were reviewed, only the US and Papua New Guinea didn’t provide parental leave laws.
Your country wasn’t mentioned? Tell us, how it maternity leave is organised at your side. Please feel also free to add any interesting information to the above mentioned countries. Any inspirational thoughts about enhancing parent laws where you are located? Share and care!