||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (November 2014)|
Parental leave or family leave is an employee benefit available in almost all countries that provides paid time off work to care for a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare. The terms "parental leave" and "family leave" include maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. Often, the minimum benefits are stipulated by law.
In certain countries parental leave provides only unpaid time off work. Paid parental leave has been available as a legal right and/or governmental program for many years, in one form or another, in most countries – with the exceptions of the United States of America, Papua New Guinea, Suriname, and Liberia. The United States is the only high income country not to provide such leave. 
Variation in international law
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women proclaims "to introduce maternity leave with pays or with comparable social benefits without loss of former employment, seniority or social allowances". Maternity Protection Convention C 183 adopted in 2000 by International Labour Organization requires 14 week of maternity leave as minimum condition.
 National laws vary widely according to the politics of each jurisdiction.
- 3 different types of child care policies
- Parental leave policies: assists parents that are employed prior to giving birth in order to remain at home for a period of time so that they are able to care for the child.
- Child care policies: parents get assistance in non parental care for the child by subsidizing whatever type of care the parents select, or parents public programs. "Child care programs serve both working and non-working parents"
- Early childhood benefits: the newest policy, this policy supports parents in the everyday care of their child. "The benefits by the government are cash grants that can be used to cover the costs of caring for and infant or toddler"
Only four countries have no national law mandating paid time off for new parents: Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and the United States. In the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) mandates up to 12 weeks of (potentially unpaid) job-protected leave, including parental leave, for many American workers. Subnational laws also vary; for example the U.S. state of California does mandate paid family leave, including parental leave for same-sex partners.
Legal requirements for parental leave benefits do not always reflect actual practice. In some countries with relatively weak requirements, individual employers choose to provide benefits beyond those required by law.
Benefits in a selection of countries
A large majority of countries provide more than 10 paid weeks of maternity leave. 163 countries give women paid leave with the birth of a child.:21 Parental leave is important not only for the mother but for the father as well. Paid leave gives parents the time to provide great prenatal and postnatal care, lowers accident rates and allows an improved sense of bonding.:26 This can give the family the opportunity to unite, relax, and be together as a family before work disrupts time spent together. According to Motherhood Manifesto, paid family leave helps out the company by saving money on training and recruiting. The Motherhood Manifesto argues this would lead to higher job satisfaction and in return better work productivity.:44
“12% of companies offered paid maternity leave according to a survey in 2000 by the national Partnership of Woman and Families”.:23 “Paid family leave is shown to benefit employers by saving them costs of recruitment and training due to high employee turnover, and leading to greater job satisfaction which then translates to higher worker productivity”.:44
Central European countries have the longest parental leave regulations in the world. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it is standard that mothers stay at home for 3 years after a child's birth, which may extend with additional children. Mothers can decide to take 2, 3, or 4 years of maternity leave. It is also possible for the fathers to take the leave instead of the mothers, but it is not common. For this whole period, mothers are supported by the state. In Slovakia, the standard duration of parental leave is 3 years; for a child with a disability, it is up to 6 years. The state pays support of 256 euros per month for the child's first 2 years, reducing to 164.22 euros per month thereafter. A similar model is also used in Austria, where mothers can choose between 1 and 3 years.
Sweden provides working parents with an entitlement of 13 months paid leave per child at 77.6% of the employee's monthly salary (up to a ceiling of about $3,400 per month (2013)), the cost being shared between employer and the state. In addition, parents are also entitled to an additional 90 days of leave at approximately $25 per day. Out of the total of 480 days paid parental leave, 60 days are reserved exclusively for each parent and are lost if not utilized. It should be noted that the paid days include weekends. Thus, 480 days is equal to about 16 months. Some Swedish political parties on the political left argue for legislation to oblige families to divide the 480 days equally between both parents. Similarly, Norway has generous leave. In Estonia mothers are entitled to 18 months of paid leave, starting up to 70 days before their due date. Fathers are entitled to paid leave starting from the third month after birth (however, paid leave is available to only one parent at a time).
In the UK female employees are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity (or adoption) leave, 39 weeks of which are paid, planned to rise to 52 weeks paid, with the first six weeks paid at 90% of full pay and the remainder at a fixed rate (£136.78/week as of 2014). Employees have to follow notification rules and might also be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay, depending on their length of service and average earnings by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. Most employers offer a more generous policy. Annual leave continues to accrue throughout the maternity leave period. A spouse or partner of the woman (including same-sex relationships) may request a two week paid (at a fixed rate) paternity leave. Both the mother and her partner can additionally request non-paid parental leave, which can be for up to 4 weeks annually, with a current limit of 13 weeks.
On 13 November 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced plans to reform the law from 2015, enabling mothers and fathers to "share" parental leave. A consultation on this followed in March 2013.
Employees have to follow notification rules and might also be entitled to statutory maternity pay (SMP), depending on their length of service and average earnings by the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC), which is referred to as the qualifying week. Over the past few years in many countries there has been a huge debate going on about the benefits of paternity leave and if paid paternity leave is actually beneficial to the family in the long run. Norway is one of the only countries right now where it is mandatory for companies to give fathers up to two weeks of paid paternity leave. Over the past few years Norway has become a great example to the rest of the world of why this has become so beneficial for families. Fathers are gaining confidence in the basic tasks of taking care of a newborn. Norway is proof that fathers who have this time at the beginning of bonding with their child will be more hands-on as the child grows up.
|Country||Paid maternity leave||Paid maternity (% of annual)||Paid paternity leave||Unpaid maternity leave||Unpaid paternity leave||Restrictions|
|Albania||1 year 80% before birth and 150 days, 50% for the rest||62%|
|Austria||16 weeks 100%||31%||between 1 and 3 years depending on chosen payment (percentage of last income for one year; ca. €436/month for three years)|
|Belarus||126 days 100%||35%|
|Belgium||15 weeks 82% for 30 days, 75% thereafter||77%||3 days, 100% by employer + 7 days, 82% paid out by health insurance fund|
|Bulgaria||6 weeks before the birth and after it 1 year 90% (total up to 410 days); 2nd year 83% of the minimal salary (130 Euro)||90% the first year; ~25% of the average salary for the country the second year||father or a grandparent can take the maternity leave instead of the mother||6 months to be used until the child turns 8||6 months to be used until the child turns 8|
|Croatia||4 weeks before birth and 26 weeks after birth. 100% paid by the public health care.||100% first 6 months, (optional) additional 6 months up to 80%||42 days after birth the father can take paternal leave instead of mother, all benefits included.|
|Cyprus||16 weeks 75%||23%|
|Czech Republic||28 weeks (beginning 6–8 weeks before birth) at ~70%; and additional "parental" leave for up to 2/3/4 years at approximately $600/400/250 per month, respectively (the 4-year option actually paying $400 for 9 months, then $200/month). The time periods may extend with multiple births or additional pregnancies.||38% (+ parental leave)||The parental leave can be taken by either of the parents or by both at the same time (but only one will receive the monetary support). It is typical for the parent with lower income to take parental leave.|
|Denmark||52 weeks. 18 to be taken by the mother, 2 weeks by the father, the rest as they see fit.||100%||2 weeks of the 52 weeks paid leave is reserved for the father.|
|Estonia||140 days, 154 days in the case of multiple birth or medical complications, followed by 435 days shared with father||100%, up to 3 times average salary||14 days, expires after 6 months after child's birth. Can share 435 days with mother after maternity leave||3 years||3 years||Unpaid maternity/paternity leave can be used by only one parent at a time|
|Finland||105 days 80%, followed by share of 158 days with father||58%||18 days, can share 158 days with mother after maternity leave||Until child turns 3||Until child turns 3|
|France||16 weeks (100%) rising to 26 weeks (100%) for third child||31%||3 days + 11 consecutive days||Share of 104 weeks (2 years) with father||Share of 104 weeks (2 years) with mother|
|Germany||14 weeks (100%) 6 before birth, 12/14 months (65%, but not more than 1.800 Euro/month) (14 only for single mothers)||84%||12/14 months (65%, but not more than 1.800 Euro/month) (14 only for single mothers/fathers or if both mothers and fathers take parental leave, so called "partner months")||Until child turns 3||Until child turns 3||Must have public health insurance for part of paid leave, rest of paid leave paid by employer|
|Greece||119 days 100%||33%||2 days|
|Hungary||24 weeks 100%, plus gets all paid leaves accumulated under the 3 years unpaid maternity leave, which means a 2–4 months paid leave at the end of this period.||46%||Five days; can share with mother (after child is over 1 year old)||3 years|
|Iceland||90 days 75-80% (based on total salary over a 12 month period ending 6 months before the birth). Max. monthly payment for 2013: ISK 350,000 (around €2,300, $3,100 at exchange rates in July 2014), min. monthly payment: ISK 131,578 (around €850, $1,100) (ISK 94,938 if 25%-49% employment)||39%||90 days 80% (on top of the 90 days shared)||13 weeks||13 weeks||Parents must have been working or studying for a period of 6 months prior to taking the leave. Parental leave can be taken at any time during the first 18 months of the baby's life. Pregnant women or fathers can't be fired.|
|Ireland||26 weeks (6 months)||80% of salary from "Relevant Tax Year" (second-last full year before leave date), up to a max. €230/week.||There is no statutory entitlement to paternity leave in Ireland. Paternity leave is not recognised in employment law.||16 (4 months) weeks that can be shared with father||16 (4 months) weeks that can be shared with mother||Leave (including the 16 weeks optional leave) must be taken as a single continuous period, beginning no later than 2 weeks before the due date|
|Italy||22 weeks (5 months) (80%) 2 before birth||34%||13 weeks (3 months) (80%)||Maximum 26 weeks (6 months) (total for both parents maximum 44 weeks (10 months))||Maximum 30 weeks (7 months) (total for both parents maximum 44 weeks (10 months))||For paid leave, job contract must include social contributions (INPS)|
|Latvia||112 days, 100%||31%||10 calendar days|
|Liechtenstein||8 weeks 80%||12%|
|Lithuania||1 year 100% or 2 years: 52 weeks 70% and 52 weeks 40% (either mother or father can take it or take the leave in shifts)||100% or 55%||1 month|
|Luxembourg||16 weeks 100%, maternity leave. Additional 12 months (split into two 6 months periods) parental leave to be taken by either parent paid as a fixed rate of €1,710.90 net per month from the CNPF (Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales).||31%||12months parental leave (split into two 6 months periods) to be taken by either parent, paid as a fixed rate of €1,778.31 net per month from the CNPF (Caisse Nationale des Prestations Familiales).||The first 6 month block must be taken immediately after maternity leave ends, the second 6 month block must be taken before the child's 5th birthday.|
|Malta||14 weeks 100%||27%||2 days 100%|
|Netherlands||16 weeks 100%||31%||2 days 100%||26 weeks||26 weeks||Unpaid leave for children under 8. For unpaid leave a parent has to have worked for an employer for over 1 year. The government gives all parents that use unpaid parental leave, through tax breaks, 50% of the national minimum wage. Employers have the possibility to provide a payment on their own discretion. Payment for parental leave can also be set at the collective labour agreements.|
|Norway||56 weeks (13 months) (80%) or 46 weeks (10.5 months) (100%) - mother must take at least 3 weeks immediately before birth and 6 weeks immediately after birth, father must take at least 12 weeks (the so-called "daddy quota") - the rest can be shared between mother and father.||86%||12 weeks of the 56/46 weeks paid leave is reserved for the father. If he does not take these 12 weeks, they will be lost as they can not be transferred to the mother.||The mother can also take an extra full year of unpaid leave after the paid period ends.||The father can also take an extra full year of unpaid leave after the paid period ends. In addition, the father is entitled to take two weeks unpaid leave directly before or after birth (many fathers are paid for these weeks by their employers).||To gain the right to paid leave for herself and the father, the mother must have worked for 6 of the last 10 months before birth, or the leave is unpaid (except for a lump sum benefit from the government)|
|Poland||16–18 weeks 100%||35%||7 days 100% (14 days since 2011)||up to 3 years, may be split.|
|Portugal||120 consecutive days at 100%, or 150 at 80%. An additional 30 consecutive days if both parents share at least 30 days not simultaneously. An additional 30 consecutive days at 100% for every twin. A 3 month extension can be requested, at 25%.||33%||20 business days at 100%||Of the paternity leave only 10 days are mandatory. Of the maternity leave, 6 weeks are compulsory. The father may take the rest of the time the mother would have been entitled to.|
|Romania||126 days (42 compulsory to be taken after birth) paid 85% + 85%, but not lower than 600 RON and not more than 4000 RON, until the baby reaches 2 years of age (3 for a disabled baby).||85%||126 days, instead of the mother, paid 85% + 85%, but not lower than 600 RON and not more than 4000 RON, until the baby reaches 2 years of age (3 for a disabled baby) OR Five days plus 10 more days if the father has taken a child care course (these 10 days are given only once, so not for every child). All 15 days must be taken within the first 8 weeks since the birth of the baby.||Must have worked 12 months in the previous year.|
|Russia||140–194 days (before birth: 70 days, or 84 days if multiple pregnancy; after birth: 70 days, or 86 days in case of complications, or 110 days if multiple birth) The minimum benefit is 100% of the legal minimum wage (4,611 rubles) multiplied by "north region value" (1 to 2.0) if they work full-time (40 hours or legal maximum). The maximum benefit is 36,563.28 rubles;
followed by: up to 18 months after birth - 2,326-14,625.31 RUB for the first child and 4,651.99-14,625.31 RUB for any subsequent child, but not exceeding 100% and not less the summary minimum multiplied by "north region value" (could be shared with father, grandparents, guardians or actual caregivers of the child). In radiation-risk zones is doubled (there is no special restriction) and paid up to 36 month.
|53%||instead of the mother: up to 18 months after birth - 2,326-14,625.31 RUB for the first child, 4,651.99-14,625.31 RUB for any subsequent child, but not exceeding 100% and not less the summary minimum multiplied by "north region value"||up to 18 months (1.5–3 years after birth), could be shared with father, grandparents, guardians or actual caregivers of the child||up to 18 months (1.5–3 years after birth), could be shared with mother, grandparents, guardians or actual caregivers of the child||50 additional rub are to be paid by employer outside the 100% period from the year 2011 is cumulative payments from the 2 previous year and divided by 730; the payments are limited to minimum salary if the mother/caregivers didn't work or get the payment ill for any 6 month|
|Slovakia||34 weeks 65%||70%||it is standard that mothers or fathers stay at home for 3 years after a child's birth. The state pays support of 200 Euros per month parental pay for the child's first 3 years.|
|Slovenia||12 months 100%||100%||11 days|
|Spain||16 weeks 100%||31%||15 days: the day of birth and the next day. The rest, 13 days: anytime during the maternity leave of the mother. Up to 15 days of the mother's leave can be taken by the father (if the father takes all 15 days, the mother only has 97 days to take off instead of the full 4 months (112 days))||Up to 3 years.|
|Sweden||480 days (16 months) (77.6% (80% of 97%) up to a ceiling the first 390 days, 90 days at flat rate) - shared with father (dedicated 60 days)||82%||480 days (16 months) (77.6% (80% of 97%) up to a ceiling the first 390 days, 90 days at flat rate) - shared with mother (dedicated 60 days) + 10 working days in connection with the child's birth||The first 18 months (at maximum) individually, by postponing the shared paid period.||The first 18 months (at maximum) individually, by postponing the shared paid period.||The 480 days can be distributed until the child turns 8 or finishes first year of schooling, which ever occurs latest.|
|Switzerland||14 weeks, except the Canton of Geneva with 16 weeks, at minimum 80% pay (up to 196 CHF per day).||22% (at maximum)||1 days||None||None||Pregnant women can't be fired|
|Turkey||16 weeks 66.7%||21%||Three days paternity leave in the public sector||12 months|
|Ukraine||126 days 100%, one time payment is offered upon the birth of each child: 41280 UAH + 10 320 UAH per child||35%||Father can take a leave instead of a mother.||Up to 3 years. If the child is disabled - up to 6 years.|
|United Kingdom||Currently 39 weeks paid, indefinite delay on planned rise to 52 weeks indefinitely (6 weeks at 90% of full pay and remainder at a flat rate (as of 2014 = £136.78) or 90% of your salary if that is less than the flat rate). This is the statutory minimum; some employers often provide more generous arrangements.||10.3% + flat rate of £128.73/week after week 6||2 weeks at a fixed amount (as of 2011 = £128.73) and up to 26 weeks’ paid Additional Paternity Leave - but only if the mother / co-adopter returns to work
4 weeks per year (non-paid and a max of 13 weeks) via a Parental leave request if they have at least one year's continuous employment
|13 weeks unpaid (maternity or adoption) for total a of 52 weeks (paid and non-paid)
Additionally, up to 4 weeks per year (non-paid and a max of 13 weeks) via a Parental leave request if they have at least one year's continuous employment
|Once the total of 39 weeks of paid leave is exhausted, fathers can take unpaid leave as long as the mother / co-adopter has returned to work, but only until the child's first birthday, or in the case of adoption, until one year of the date the child started living with you. Additionally, note that a spouse or partner can request up to 4 weeks non-paid Parental leave annually (max 13 weeks) if they have at least one year's continuous employment||With the exception of Ordinary Paternity Leave, parents cannot take leave at the same time. The person requesting Maternity/Adoption or Paternity leave person must have worked for their current employer for at least 26 weeks before the 15th week before the due date (and received a salary that is higher than a fixed minimum). They must give the employer notice before the 15th week before the child is due. Fathers cannot take Additional Paternity leave until the 20 weeks after the birth of the child.|
In 2000, parental leave was greatly expanded in Canada from 10 weeks to 35 weeks divided as desired between two parents. This is in addition to 15 weeks maternity leave. In most situations, a combination of maternity and parental benefits can be received up to a combined maximum of 50 weeks. In Canada maternity and parental leave is paid for by the Employment Insurance system.
In the United States paid paternity leave is being advocated by a group named "Paid Paternity Leave Please!". The petition is for both paternity as well as maternity but was founded based on paternity rights.
Of all high income countries in the world like Canada, Australia, The United Kingdom to mention a few, the United States still remains as the only country who does not mandate paid family and medical leave. The United States should have a national paid parental leave program to reduce family stress, to lower illness rates as well as to improve cognitive development in children. This very essential right could provide millions of Americans the ability to care for family members with serious health conditions, during pregnancies, the birth of a child and or to bond with a new child. Paid paternity and medical leave has proven to increase working retention and promotes the opportunity to share care-giving duties, furthermore, it is recommended mothers to breasfeed their babies at least until six months of age, because it contributes the health of the baby, as well as to promote bonding between the mother and the child. In December of 2013, The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY) was introduced to Congress, it reflects the leave programs already well established in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. It would provide American workers with 12 weeks of paid leave, with the use of combined contributions from employer-employee to receive 66 percent of the individuals monthly income up to 4,000 dollars per month, making it an invaluable tool for millions of American families who would be able to take parental and medical leave.
|Country||Paid maternity leave||Paid paternity leave||Unpaid maternity leave||Unpaid paternity leave||Restrictions|
|Antigua/Barbuda||13 weeks 60%|
|Argentina||90 days 100%||Two days|
|Aruba||12 weeks 100%|
|Bahamas||13 weeks 60%||One week family-related leave||Paid maternity leave may only be taken once every 36 months|
|Barbados||12 weeks 100%|
|Belize||12 weeks 80%|
|Bolivia||12 weeks 100% of national min. wage + 70% of wages above min. wage|
|Brazil||120 days (civil servants: 180 days) 100%, salary partially tax-deductible for employers||5 days (Article 10, Paragraph 1, of Temporary Constitutional Provisions Act of Brazilian Constitution)|
|Canada||50 weeks 55% up to $501/week (15 weeks maternity + 35 weeks parental leave shared with father)
Quebec: 32 weeks of parental leave that can be shared with father, 70% up to $834.61/week for 25 weeks, then 55% up to $655.76/week for 25 weeks.
|35 weeks 55% up to $485/week parental leave (shared with mother)
Quebec: 5 weeks paid leave at a rate of up to 70% of their income or 3 weeks paid leave at a rate of 75% of their income.
|Canada: 2 weeks obligatory before payment started (waiting period). Quebec: no waiting period.||The person taking leave must have accumulated at least 600 hours of insurable employment - for which Employment Insurance premium was paid - in the 52 weeks preceding the leave or from since the last Employment Insurance period if it is started in the preceding 52 weeks. Some self-employed people who are not covered by the normal benefit can also get this benefit if they pay Employment Insurance premiums for the preceding 12 months and earn enough income (CAD 6,222 in 2011) in the preceding calendar year. There are also special rules for fishermen and members of military families.|
|Chile||30 weeks 100%. 6 weeks before birth, and 24 weeks postpartum. The first 12 weeks after birth are a full day paid leave for the mother; the later 12 weeks can be arranged as half day or full day for the mother or she can decide to sharethis benefit, up to six weeks, with the father returning earlier to work; in those cases the father always have to take the final weeks of the leave.||Article 66 indicates 1 day paid; Law N° 20.047 (2005) increased paternity leave to 4 days paid leave. (edward gonzalez-acosta, The New School)|
|Colombia||14 weeks 100%; 2 weeks can be taken prior to the probable date of birth. Law 1468 (2011) which modified the article 236 of the Labor Code||Law 755 (2002) appended a paragraph to Article 236 of the Labor Code to indicate that fathers have a leave of 4–8 days. (edward gonzalez-acosta, The New School)|
|Costa Rica||4 months 100%||3 days|
|Cuba||18 weeks 100%|
|Dominica||12 weeks 60%|
|Dominican Republic||12 weeks 100%||Two days|
|Ecuador||12 weeks 100%|
|El Salvador||12 weeks 75%|
|Grenada||3 months 100% (2 months), 60% for 3rd month|
|Guatemala||84 days 100%||Two days at birth of child|
|Guyana||13 weeks 70%|
|Haiti||12 weeks 100% for 6 weeks|
|Honduras||10 weeks 100% for 84 days|
|Jamaica||12 weeks 100% for 8 weeks|
|Mexico||12 weeks 100%||5 days|
|Nicaragua||12 weeks 60%|
|Panama||14 weeks 100%|
|Paraguay||12 weeks 50% for 9 weeks||Two days|
|Peru||90 days 100%|
|Saint Lucia||3 months 65%|
|Trinidad/Tobago||13 weeks 60%-100%|
|United States||0 days (CA: 6 weeks 55%, District of Columbia: Requires employers to provide workers with paid days of absence, NJ: 6 weeks 66%, PR: 8 weeks 100%, HI: 58%, NY: 50%)||0 weeks (CA: 6 weeks 55%, NJ 6 weeks 66%, WA 5 weeks $250/week possibly starting 10/2015)||12 Weeks||12 Weeks||Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 includes all public agencies and private companies with 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Employee must have worked for covered employer for at least 12 months prior, and at least 1250 hours in previous 12 months. Other restrictions apply. See Maternity leave in the United States for more details. See Paid Family Leave (California) for details in California.|
|Uruguay||12 weeks 100%||Three days paternity leave for civil servants|
|Venezuela||26 weeks 100%||Two weeks|
|Country||Paid maternity leave||Paid paternity leave||Unpaid maternity leave||Unpaid paternity leave||Restrictions|
|Algeria||14 weeks 100%||3 days|
|Angola||3 months 100%|
|Benin||14 weeks 100%|
|Botswana||12 weeks 25%|
|Burkina Faso||14 weeks 100%|
|Burundi||12 weeks 50%|
|Cameroon||14 weeks 100%||Up to 10 days paid leave for family events concerning workers' home|
|Central African Republic||14 weeks 50%|
|Chad||14 weeks 50%||Up to 10 days paid leave for family events concerning workers' home|
|Comoros||14 weeks 100%|
|Congo||15 weeks 100%|
|Cote d'Ivoire||14 weeks 100%||Up to 10 days paid leave for family events concerning workers' home|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||14 weeks 67%|
|Djibouti||14 weeks 50% (100% for public employees)||10 days family-related leave|
|Egypt||90 days (approx. 13 weeks) 100%|
|Equatorial Guinea||12 weeks 75%|
|Eritrea||60 days unknown|
|Ethiopia||90 days (approx. 12 weeks) 100%||Five days of unpaid leave in the event of exceptional or serious events|
|Gabon||14 weeks 100%||Up to 10 days paid leave for family events concerning workers' home|
|The Gambia||12 weeks 100%|
|Ghana||12 weeks 100%|
|Guinea||14 weeks 100%|
|Guinea-Bissau||60 days (approx. 8.5 weeks) 100%|
|Kenya||3 months 100%||2 weeks 100%|
|Lesotho||12 weeks unknown|
|Libya||90 days (approx. 13 weeks) 50%|
|Madagascar||14 weeks 100%||10 days of unpaid leave for family events|
|Mali||14 weeks 100%|
|Mauritania||14 weeks 100%|
|Mauritius||12 weeks 100%|
|Morocco||14 weeks 100%|
|Mozambique||60 days (approx. 8.5 weeks) 100%|
|Namibia||12 weeks Social Security - 100% up to N$10 500|
|Niger||14 weeks 50%|
|Nigeria||12 weeks 50%|
|Rwanda||12 weeks 67%||Two days|
|Sao Tome/Principe||60 days (approx. 8.5 weeks) 100%||10 days|
|Senegal||14 weeks 100%|
|Seychelles||14 weeks flat rate for 10 weeks||Four days of paid leave for "compassionate reasons"|
|Somalia||14 weeks 50%|
|South Africa||4 months Up to 60% dependent on income||Three days paid family responsibility leave per year|
|Sudan||8 weeks 100%|
|Togo||14 weeks 100%||Up to ten days of paid leave for "family events directly related to home"|
|Tunisia||30 days (approx. 4 weeks) 67%||1 day (private sector), 2 days (public sector)|
|Uganda||60 working days (approx. 8.5 weeks) 100%||4 working days 100%|
|United Republic of Tanzania||12 weeks 100%||5 days fully paid paternity leave||Paid maternity leave may only be taken once every 36 months|
|Zambia||12 weeks 100%|
|Zimbabwe||90 days (approx. 12 weeks) 100%|
Asia / Pacific
Australia has introduced an 18 week paid parental leave scheme which is publicly funded and provides the National Minimum Wage rather than a percentage of the primary caregiver's salary. It is not be available to families where the primary caregiver has an annual salary above $150,000 per annum.
|Country||Paid maternity leave||Paid paternity leave||Unpaid maternity leave||Unpaid paternity leave||Restrictions|
|Afghanistan||90 days 100%|
|Azerbaijan||126 days 100%|
|Australia||18 weeks at National Minimum Wage (currently $622.10 per week as at April 2014) subject to primary caregiver income||2 weeks at National Minimum Wage||Up to 52 weeks unpaid shared between the parents||Up to 3 weeks of unpaid leave||The 52 weeks are shared between the parents and all leave needs to be taken before the baby's first birthday. Australian maternity leave is means tested, whereby no payments are available to families where the primary caregiver has an annual salary above $150,000 per annum.|
|Bahrain||45 days 100%|
|Bangladesh||16 weeks (8 weeks before delivery and 8 weeks after delivery) 100%||In case of third (+) time mother, who has two or more babies alive already.|
|Cambodia||90 days 50%||10 days special leave for family events|
|China||98 days 100%|
|Fiji||84 days Flat rate|
|Hong Kong||10 weeks 80%|
|India||12 weeks 100%||Does not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Prohibits employers from allowing women to work within six weeks after giving birth. A female employee is eligible only if she worked for the employer at least 80 days during the 12-month period preceding the date of expected delivery. In the case of a stillbirth or miscarriage, six weeks of paid leave is required instead. Female employees of the Central Government of India receive 180 days of leave.|
|Indonesia||3 months 100%||Two days' paid when wife gives birth|
|Iran||6 months 100%|
|Iraq||62 days 100%|
|Israel||14 weeks 100%. The weeks from 6th to 14th can be taken by the father.||Can take the paid leave instead of the mother starting from the 6th week (up to 14 weeks)||1 year|
|Japan||14 weeks 60%||1 year||1 year||When parents take turns, the total period may be extended 2 months (but no longer than 1 year for each parent).|
|Jordan||10 weeks 100%|
|Korea, Republic of||90 days 100%||1 year (40% of Original Salary, At least $400 At most $1,000 per a month paid by Employment Insurance) until the child is 6 years old||Parents who have a child under 6 years old can get 1 year parental leave. The only condition that the employee(s) must satisfy is to have worked for at least 1 year in the company at the time the child is born.|
|Kuwait||70 days 100%|
|Lao People's Democratic Republic||3 months 70%|
|Lebanon||10 weeks 100%||1 day 100%|
|Malaysia||60 days 100%|
|Mongolia||120 days 70%|
|Myanmar||12 weeks 66.7%||Six days of "casual leave" that can be used by fathers to assist their spouses at the time of confinement|
|Nepal||52 days 100%|
|New Zealand||14 weeks, 100% or NZ$504.10 per week (whichever is lower). May start up to six weeks before expected delivery date.||1–2 weeks, 0%. May start 21 days before expected delivery date, must be completed within 21 days after date of confinement.||38 weeks in addition to paid leave.||Fathers can share unpaid (extended) leave with the mother of the child.||Paid maternity leave will extend to 16 weeks on 1 April 2015 and to 18 weeks on 1 April 2016.
If the mother is ordered to start leave early by a doctor, midwife or their employer, maternity leave may be extended beyond 14 weeks to the difference between the date of the order and the expected delivery date, plus 8 weeks.
|Oman||14 weeks, 100%; 50 days prior to and 50 days after birth (per Omani Labor Law, Royal Decree No. 35/2003, 26 April 2003).|
|Pakistan||45 days prior to confinement and 45 days after the confinement under rule 13 of the Revised Leave Rules, 1980. But it is 60 days for Armed Forces Nursing Service (AFNS)100%|
|Papua New Guinea||0 days||12 weeks|
|Philippines||60 days 100%, applicable also to miscarriages. 78 days 100% for C-section delivery. 7 days 100% parental leave per year for solo parents until the child is 18, or indefinitely if the child has a disability.||Seven days paid paternity leave for married workers. 7 days 100% parental leave per year for solo parents until the child is 18, or indefinitely if the child has a disability.||Maternity and paternity leave benefits are up to the 4th pregnancy only.|
|Qatar||50 days 100% for civil servants|
|Saudi Arabia||10 weeks 50% or 100%||One day|
|Singapore||16 weeks 100% or 12 week 67%||1 week of 100% Government-Paid Paternity Leave for fathers. 1 week of 100% Government-Paid Shared Parental Leave to allow fathers to share 1 week of the working mother’s maternity leave entitlement.||16 weeks of Maternity Leave is restricted to married women whose children are Singapore citizens (at least one parent is a Singapore citizen) and has served her employer for at least 90 days before the child's birth.|
|Solomon Islands||12 weeks 25%|
|Sri Lanka||12 weeks 100% (84 working days), 84 days 50%||03 days 100%||84 days|
|Syrian Arab Republic||50 days 70%|
|Taiwan||8 weeks 100% for more than six months of employment or 50% for less six months of employment||3 days 100%|
|Thailand||90 days 100% for 45 days paid by employer, then 45 days paid at 50% of wages (to a maximum of 7,500 baht per month) by the Thailand Social Security Fund|
|United Arab Emirates||45 Days 100%||55 days (total 100 days maternity leave)||Maternity leave at 100% pay is subject to the employee having served continuously for not less than one year. The maternity leave shall be granted with half pay if the woman has not completed one year.|
|Vietnam||4–6 months 100%|
|Yemen||60 days 100%|
As international organizations are not subject to the legislation of any country, they have their own internal legislation on parental leave.
|Organization||Paid maternity leave||Paid paternity leave||Unpaid maternity leave||Unpaid paternity leave||Restrictions|
|United Nations||16 weeks 100% (however, no fewer than 10 weeks must be after delivery, even if the pre-delivery leave was longer due to a late birth)||4 weeks 100% (or 8 weeks for staff members serving at locations where they are not allowed to live with their family)||The fact that a staff member is or will be on parental leave cannot be a factor in deciding contract renewal. To ensure that this is enforced, if a contract ends while the staff member is on parental leave, the contract must be extended to cover the duration of such leave.|
- Baby bonus
- Paid family leave
- Parental leave economics
- Sick leave
- Time bind
- Work-life balance
- "In Paid Family Leave, U.S. Trails Most of the Globe". New York Times. February 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Article 11, 2 (b)
- Maternity Protection Convention C 183, Article 4
- "Employment Relations Research Series No. 80, p. 96,". Department of Business Enterprise & Regulation (2007) (ed.): Internal Review of Leave Policies and Related Research 2007. berr.gov.uk.
- Jane Waldfogel.2001. International Policies Toward Parental Leave and Child Care. Princeton University. pp 98-111.
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- BBC article on proposed parental leave in Germany designed to halt the decline in the birth rate and male/female workplace inequality - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4852040.stm
- BBC article on declining birth rate in Italy - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4739154.stm
- BBC article on declining birth rate in Poland and new schemes designed to increase it - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4852924.stm
- BBC article on success of Norway's parental leave scheme - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4786160.stm
- BBC guide to parenthood policies in Europe - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4837422.stm (n.b. In this BBC article parental leave means unpaid leave)
- Trends in Maternity Leave for First-Time Mothers in the US - http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2006/05/family-album-radio-trends-in-maternity.html
- TUC page about maternity rights in the UK - http://www.worksmart.org.uk/rights/what_time_off_work_am_i_entitled
- Center for Law and Social Policy on need for reform in the US - http://www.clasp.org/publications/getting_punched_fullnotes.pdf
- Canadian Labour Standards Government website - http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/spila/wlb/wppp/02leave_benefits.shtml
- International Network on Leave Policy and Research
- Parental Leave in 21 Countries