Which nations offer the best maternity and paternity leave supplements? A new Unicef report has examined family-related policies and reception rates in the richest countries in the world. The study examines the amount of full parental leave and the provision of childcare services.
The Nordic countries surprisingly rank first in all categories. In Norway and Sweden, almost all fathers take parental leave, according to Anna Gromada of Unicef Research Bureau – Innocenti, who co-authored the report. In terms of parental leave, Estonia is the leader offering the longest job-protected maternity leave (85 weeks full pay).
In some places, parental leave allowance can be generous, but it can be used -up rates remain low. Japan offers 30 weeks paid leave for fathers, by far the most of all countries studied. Very few fathers (1
Some countries do not even have much in politics. Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries that do not offer father-specific holidays. "We see no connection between the prosperity of a country and its family-friendly policies," says Gromada.
The real outlier in terms of parental leave is the US. "The US is the only high-income country in the world that does not offer maternity protection for just one day," says Gromada. Individual companies may provide some form of parental leave, but there are no legal requirements. Unicef recommends that nations grant six months of legal paid leave for parents.
Considering how do the countries compare? Take a look at the chart below to find out.