3 responses to “Paid Maternity Leave

  1. Hi, I just wanted to note that this chart is misleading… I am a Canadian working in Denmark, but currently on maternity leave in Belgium. The numbers the chart shows for Canada and Denmark are both wrong – or, rather, it is hard to assign a single number since it depends so much on employer, etc. The chart shows 18 weeks for Denmark, but I get 48. It shows 50 weeks for Canada, but I would have got 52 – and, on the flip side, I know Canadians in Canada who only got 6. In any case: the overall point is right (the US lags badly) but the details are not.

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree, a simple graphic like this one could never capture the intricacies of each system, but I do like that it makes a bold statement about how much further the US has to come.

  2. Similarly, having worked in company benefits for awhile, I found the chart misleading too. In the US we do have federally mandated leave for maternity, it’s just not paid. In the Scandinavian nations, if you want to take unpaid parental leave (note “parental,” not “maternity” or “paternity” in these countries), you can do so for up to 2 years! All they’re counting here is what is government required, paid maternity leave. I agree the US has a long way to go for this, but it’s too close to socialism for some people :-)

    This chart also doesn’t show that half those countries don’t have paternity leave, like Japan. At least the in US, where it’s not federally mandated, paternity leave is recognized as a right by most institutions.

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