(Closed) maternity leave policies around the world

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Thanks for posting this! I’ve been overseas for a while and at first I was shocked at how MUCH time both Mom and Dad got off for a newborn. Now it it seems natural…moms overseas usually don’t go back to work since their job is secured until they come back.  I cannot imagine the U.S. ever doing something like that.  

But then again, everyone I know over here only has 1 or 2 kids max since that is all they can afford on one salary. Darling Husband and I are TTC and he asked me last night if my job will fall under “kindercare” so I can take time off when I do get pregnant…which it doesn’t.  Otherwise, I’d HAVE to quit working (but still paid) 2 months prior to giving birth. They consider that a time when moms shouldn’t be working. 

A job that I “almost” took here was to cover a 1 year maternity leave but I was told not to worry that it’d be up in a year b/c there were plenty of women getting pregnant. It just seems like women helping other women out to me and I wish American women didn’t have to worry so much about losing their jobs and rushing back to work after giving birth.  

Post # 4
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2004

we get 12mnths mat leave. In my specific job i can choose to take paid leave at full pay of 3 months, or 1/2 pay at 6mnths, and the government will also give me 6mnths paid support aswell. So i will be going back after 6mnths. it makes me a little sad and i dont really want to but i also know that as a family this is what i have to do, and a lot of others have it worse than i do.

Post # 5
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Here in the UK Maternity leave is very generous. There is a stat minimum by law but in the company I work for your allowed to take a years leave and for the first 12 weeks it’s on full pay and decreases over the year to 90 pay. I think it’s only the last 12 weeks leave, your only paid a stat minimum. When I joined 2 years ago it was one of the factors I took into consideration when applying for jobs.

The problem in the Uk isn’t mat leave policies (or paying to actually have your child for that matter), it’s childcare after returning to work.

Unless you and your partner are very wealthy you have to make tough choices once you have children. Go back to work and pay for childcare that wipes out your paycheck or be a sahm and live on one salary. Sometimes the difference in financial benefits might only be £200.

I’m not sure HOW we’ll cope when it comes to our turn, we both have good well paying jobs but even we’ll be squeezed financially once children come along, you just sort of, deal with it as it comes.

Post # 6
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Maternity leave sucks in the US…far too many businesses like to act as is FMLA and the government give new mothers ridiculous amounts of time or something, like we’re sooo lucky to get our six unpaid weeks.

Between the difference in out of pocket healthcare costs and maternity leave policies, I have joking asked Darling Husband if he’s sure he doesn’t want to move just like a half hour away to Windsor (Canada) before the baby comes. But we wouldn’t actually do it, that would be a huge pain.

Post # 7
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@Soon2BeeMrsG:  So true! 

I get great maternity pay at my job–a whole year–and don’t have to decide about returning till my year is up. I’ll probably be a Stay-At-Home Mom unless I end up going stark raving mad at home and want to work just to be around adults a few days per week…

I’m just glad that we’ve got such great healthcare in our area. I know that not all parts of the UK are the same, but everyone has been super helpful and prompt with this pregnancy. Really nice to be giving birth here instead of in the states, where twins would cost upwards of $30,000 if they came early enough to be in the NICU or if there was a complication. 

Post # 8
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

This map always drives me crazy as it misrepresents what Canada offers. We get 17 weeks for “pregnancy leave,” (the time you get off work for physically giving birth) but then we get another 35 weeks of “parental leave,” (the time you get off work to care for your new child. This same benefit is also extended to adoptive parents. It can be taken by the mother, the father – or same-sex partner – or divided by both partners) which equals out to one full year 🙂

If you have worked 600 hours in the last year and paid into Employment Insurance you are eligible to receive 55% of your salary, up to a maximum of $501/week, for the duration of your leave. Some employers then top up their employees’ salaries (e.g. my employer tops me up to 95% of my salary for the first 17 weeks of my leave) in addition to what you receive from EI.

Post # 9
358 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Is this a joke? Is the United States really the only county who has maternity leave UNPAID.


Ridiculous. I wish we could move sometimes.

Post # 10
36 posts

@lovebugfouts:  That is something that stroke me when I moved here !!!!!!! UNPAID leave??? So does it mean that we do not have to eat after having a baby and our bills are waived? Seriously??? And the other thing was having to PAY for daycare! In my country we get 6 months of PAID leave and can not be fired AND the employer has to provide daycare for free!

When I tell my friends how it is here nobody can believe it!

Post # 11
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

“The United States < the rest of the developed world” kind of sums it up nicely.

I don’t know much about the policies of developing/less developed countries, but I know among the ones that would be considered more established the US is waaaaaaaaaay behind.

Post # 12
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

well, this map kind of misrepresents the US…. it states 12 weeks…. but not everyone gets that.  Only if you work for an employer with 50+ employers.  So, many many women who work in small business have NO maternity leave benefits.  AT.  ALL.  In some companies pregnancy isn’t covered under the short term disability plan…. so they wouldn’t even be guaranteed the 6 weeks (for vaginal delivery) or 8 weeks (for c-section) and it would be without ANY pay.  Also – FMLA works ON TOP of the 6/8 weeks.  So, it’s really just an additional 6/4 weeks (not 6/8 and THEN 12 weeks federal).


It amazes me how behind the US is with regards to maternity laws.

Post # 13
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@MrsCarnival:  Seriously. Pakistan has better maternity leave than the US.

Post # 14
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@lovebugfouts:  That was my reaction!

I looked at almost every country that was on there and the US is the only country that our maternity leave is unpaid.  It’s disgusting!

My company only pays us for 6 weeks.  And that’s for vaginal or c-section.  The remaining 6 weeks of FMLA leave is unpaid.  We just can’t afford that.  So, I have no choice but to go back after 6 weeks.  It’s ridiculous and heartbreaking.

Post # 15
760 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Yes, this map misrepresents Canada.  If you gave birth to a child, you are eligible for a year’s leave (this include maternity leave and parental leave).  Anyone else (Dad, adoptive parents, grandma, whatever) get 9 months paid parental leave. 

Post # 16
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@3xaCharm:  Also, you have to have worked for that 50+ employee company in a full-time capacity for at least a year.

@vorpalette:  No kidding. Somalia is better than ours as well. And Madagascar. And lots of other smaller nations that aren’t usually known for their “human rights” policies.

(“Human rights” is really the wrong turn of phrase but I cannot effectively say what I’m trying to say for the life of me right now! Hopefully someone who isn’t as groggy as I am this morning can more eloquently make my point for me)

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