Maternity leave in the world: how it works in other countries

Maternity leave in the world: how it works in other countries
Source: Ipa

Maternity leave is a great achievement for working women. It guarantees new mothers time to stay at home with their puppies without risking losing their job and with a salary that for the first five months, the mandatory leave period, is 80% of the salary and for another six months (optional) to 30%.

But looking around the world we realize that in some countries there is a better model than ours, especially as regards paternity leave; but there are also countries where compensation is not even guaranteed.

Read also: Paternity leave 2022: the news and how to use it

Here is an overview of the other countries taken from the website


French law provides that future mothers are entitled to 16 weeks off, generally divided into six weeks before birth and 10 after.

Depending on your personal situation and health, the leave can be changed. If you already have two children, the 16 weeks are extended to 26: eight before birth and 18 after. If you are expecting twins, you get 34 weeks (12 weeks before, 22 after).

The salary is determined on the basis of the average of the last three months of salary, decreased by 21%, but cannot exceed 3.269 euros per month. In the banking sector it is 100% of the salary. While if you are unemployed, it is about 50% of your last three wages.

If the permit is extended beyond 16 weeks for parental leave (parental leave), pay stops, but depending on your income and the number of children you already have, you can get some help from social security of around 400 euros a month.

The permit lasts for one year and can be renewed twice if you have one or two children - until they turn three and up to five times if you have three or more children - up to your sixth birthday.

Paternity leave is 11 days for a single birth and 18 days for multiple births, in addition to three days of rest at birth.


The compulsory leave is six weeks before giving birth and eight weeks after, which can last up to 12 weeks if more than one baby is born.

After that you can ask for a family leave. It would be up to three years, but only one year with 60% of the last salary. If the father also takes two months, the time he is paid increases to 14 months.

The remuneration of the compulsory period is 65% of the last salary plus 13 euros per day.

Cogedo paternity: if the woman takes 12 months, a man can have it two months paid leave, but it is also possible that the man takes 12 months off and the woman two.


Both mother and father are offered up to 480 days (16 months) of paid leave (180 bonus days for twins) to be divided among themselves as they choose, although one parent cannot transfer more than 150 days to the other and both parents can stay at home for the first two weeks.

The leave can be kept until the child is eight years old.

Furthermore, parents with children under the age of eight also have, by law, the right to work 32 hours a week instead of 40, if they choose to do so.

The parental leave pay for the first 390 days is at80% of the salary, for the remaining 90 is $ 22 per day.

Lchildcare is $ 130 per month for each child under 16, with a bonus that increases with the number of children you have.

For example, if you have five children, you get $ 650 a month plus a $ 350 bonus and pay a maximum of $ 350 a month in childcare costs.

Read also: Save the Children report: the countries where it is better to be born female


You can stop working six weeks before the scheduled date ("Pregnancy leave"). If you feel good and want to work longer, you can work up to four weeks before the due date. This is the minimum required by the government. Days not used in this two week period pthey can be added to the “childbirth leave” which is 10 weeks.

The allowance corresponds to the salary. If you are studying or receiving unemployment benefits, the government will pay for the time off.

For now, paternity leave is paid for two days and if you want you can add another three but without pay. But the majority of the House of Representatives want to extend paid paternity leave. Something is likely to change in the next few years.

United States

The United States they don't have a law which specifically concerns parental leave.

There is another law, called Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which can be used for parental leave, although it does not apply to everyone. Provides up to 12 weeks and requires the employer to maintain employee health benefits, but it is unpaid and comes with restrictions only to those who are eligible. However, it is applicable to both men and women.

Furthermore, there is no obligation for the employer to provide pay during parental leave.

For childcare there is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) which can provide a credit of 25-30% of childcare costs, limited to $ 3.000 per child per year. It must be considered that the cost of kindergartens is very high: an average of $ 9.589 per year is calculated.



The time before birth is not specified by law, but most women stop working a few weeks before their due date.

There's a legal obligation to provide 12 months of maternity leave. New mothers can also ask for an additional 12 months for a number of factors, if there are any health or family related complications.

The salary is $ 695 per week for up to 18 weeks.

All working mothers can access it, the important thing is that they have done the same job for 10 of the 13 months prior to birth.

Then there is a significant support for childcare which however cannot exceed $ 7000 a year, it is a subsidy designed to encourage people to work. Also because in big cities kindergartens can cost more than 100 euros per day.

Paternity leave it is, instead, two weeks at the national minimum wage of $ 695, as long as they earn an individual income of $ 150.000 or less. This means that most dads have two weeks of paid vacation.


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Mothers can leave their jobs six weeks before the expected expiration date (14 weeks, if a twin birth is planned). And after the birth a period of 8 weeks is allowed. But they could come back after six weeks, if their doctor approves.

Japan also has a child leave, which applies to both parents. This period begins after compulsory maternity leave and continues until the baby reaches the age of 1 year.

The leave can be extended until the child reaches 14 months if both parents take leave, while it can be extended to 18 months if only one parent takes leave.

The salary is not paid by the companies but there is a social insurance

A parent will receive two thirds of his or her base salary for the first six months of leave. After six months, the amount is reduced to 50%. If the father takes leave after the first six months together with the mother, both parents will receive two thirds of their basic salary for 14 months.


Dependent women can receive the maternity leave paid for 26 weeks. Period that extends from eight weeks before the expected date of delivery, and the remaining 18 weeks can be used after delivery.

But a woman who already has two or more children is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave (i.e. six weeks of antenatal and six weeks after the expected date). The allowance corresponds to the average daily wage.

Paternity leave does not exist in the private sector, while a civil servant is allowed a period of 15 days before or up to six months after the date of birth.

To learn more and know how it works in other countries, go to the Business Insider survey

  • maternity leave
  • parental leave
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