Why Don't We Have Better Maternity Leave Policies?

maternity leave united states




Did you know that only five countries in the world don't offer some sort of paid parental leave, and the United States is one of them? (We're joined by Australia, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea.)

Meanwhile, female employees in the U.K. are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, 39 of which are paid. And our neighbors to the north, Canadians, are welcome to take 35 weeks of leave, split between the parents as desired. This is on TOP of 15 weeks of paid leave for the mom.

Europe? You don't even want to know.


OK, so there are no U.S. rules requiring paid time off. But, from work it, mom!, here are a few tips on trying to maximize your leave.

-- The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for job protection and unpaid leave, but not everyone is eligible. Do some research and be prepared to negotiate for what you want early.

-- Know the number of weeks to which you are entitled -- Through company policy, or law, or both, you may be entitled to paid or unpaid time off that ranges from 0 to 12 or more weeks.

-- Know the number of weeks you want -- and remember, everything is negotiable. Just because something is in writing as "company policy" doesn't mean you can't ask for something different.

Here are more work it, mom! tips on preparing for maternity leave.

Why do you think the United States doesn't have more generous parental leave laws? Do you expect any family-friendly changes under the new administration?



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