When it comes to patriotism, America is not lacking. With a secure attachment to their nationality and its placement in the world, citizens often hear statements like “America has the #1 military in the world” or “America is THE land of the free” on a very regular basis. In fact, many politicians base their whole running campaigns on such ideals, and as the latest presidential run has proven, American citizens stand firmly behind the notions of America being the best country on the globe. However, this notion seems to diminish as America’s laws and policies are compared with countries around the world.
Within the United Nations, there are 193 countries. Out of all of those countries, only 8 of them do not have a national program already set in place for paid parental leave: South Pacific island nations, Suriname, New Guinea, and the United States of America.
In the 2018 budget proposal, the Trump administration included a paid parental leave with a stated goal of offering eligible workers six weeks of leave. While the proposal was a landmark, questions remain about whether the proposal will ever be more than just that. For now, eligible Americans can take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave. As America crosses its fingers for any paid parental leave, take a look at what it is like across the globe.
Australia: There is a legal requirement to provide 12 months of maternity leave. There are also options to request extra time in particular cases, such as if there are complications with health or the family. There is also a legal requirement for the mother’s role before leave be available when she is ready to return to work. Additionally, childcare in Australia is also a major social issue. The government provides significant support for childcare repaying 50% of the cost for families with lower incomes.
Ghana: As of now, there are 12 weeks of paid leave for mothers, although policymakers are planning to extend that to 16 weeks. The pay for mothers stays the same as when the employment contract was created. For fathers, there are no laws as of yet. A review committee has proposed a statutory five-day paternity leave for males that would allow workers to collect their full salaries still.
India: Female employees receive paid leave for up to 26 weeks and can be extended up to 8 weeks before the delivery date and remaining 18 weeks after childbirth at the rate of her daily wage. However, a woman with two or more children is entitled to 12 weeks paid leave, or six weeks prenatal and six weeks postnatal.
Netherlands: This country offers both pregnancy leave and delivery leave. Up to six weeks in advance of your expected due date a citizen can stop working. At four weeks before your due date, there is a government requirement to take time off of work. After delivery, mothers can take up to 10 weeks of paid leave. As of now, fathers receive two days paid leave and an additional three days of unpaid leave.
Sweden: Both mothers and fathers are allowed to stay off work until the child is 18 months old. Maternity leave can begin up to seven weeks before the due date. After birth, additional time is afforded for parenting courses. Fathers are entitled 13 days of paternity leave with pay. Both parents can stay off work until the child is 18 months old, and can choose to be paid during this time by taking from the paid parental leave quota of 480 days, which can be saved up until the child is eight years old. The average parental leave in this country is more extended than in any other European nation.