U.S. ranks last in the world for paid time off for new moms

National News

HOUSTON (CW39) Business.org reports the United States doesn’t legally require any employers to provide paid maternity leave to their workers. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does require employers with 50 or more employees must provide 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

Considering over 40% of American families rely on dual-income, families who are welcoming a new addition to their family need to have paid maternity leave to make ends meet. With Mothers Day upon us and Biden’s proposal to expand paid leave benefits, Business.org decided to look into how paid maternity leave in the US compares to other countries around the world.

With President Joe Biden proposing to expand paid leave benefits to allow parents up to 10 weeks of paid time to bond with their new child, this would allow the US to not rank last for maternity leave benefits.

According to the Business.org recent employee benefits survey, 30% of women say that paid maternity leave is the most important benefit offering.
The minimum time for paid maternity leave for other OECD countries is 12 weeks; the average time off across countries is roughly 20 weeks. Compared to zero in the United States.

  • Bulgaria stands out by far as the best place for maternity leave. Bulgarias maternity leave stretches to 58.6 weeks of maternity leave.
  • Greeces maternity leave is the next closest at 21.7 weeks full-pay equivalent, with 43 weeks at a 49.5% pay rate.
  • Poland comes in third with 20 weeks of paid maternity leave at a 100% pay rate.

Nearly 32% of US households live on a single income, and 41% rely on dual income. Check out how paid maternity leave compares across the world.

The Survey Methodology:
Using (OECD) data, we ranked each country according to its full-rate equivalent pay for maternity leave (the number of weeks of paid maternity leave multiplied by the repayment rate in each country).

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