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Global Family Leave and Pay Report Discloses Disparity Among Countries

Covering statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared leave and pay information in more than 85 countriesDentons’ Global Family Leave and Pay Snapshot highlights the differences in how governments manage the wellbeing of new families and protect jobs and incomes for new parentsWhile most global companies already have family leave and pay policies that go beyond government requirements, they should still be mindful of paid parental leave policy inequities that could affect women’s careers.  

The report differentiates leaves that are only available to one parent, such as maternity, paternity and adoption Leave from shared Leave that can be shared between parents. Pay varies from 100% paid to no payment when the employer is often responsible for the payments, although, in some cases, all or part of the payments will be refunded by the state or insurers. 

A few key points from the report:  

  • Vietnam provides the most generous maternity leave in Asia, while Japan provides the most shared leave due to its recent labor reform to promote gender equality and encourage women join workforce.  

  • Europe leads the world in providing family leave in general. With them, Finland offers a similarly long leave (16 weeks) to fathers as mothers (23 weeks)Additionally, parents can also transfer 69 days from their own quota to the other parent. The parental allowance will be paid until the child is 13 weeks old with 70% of the employee’s salary for even a longer periodHowever, despite these generous leave allowances, fathers in Finland do not use their allotment as often as mother, reflecting a still stubborn gender imbalance. 

  • Kuwait and Saudi Arabia give the best maternity leave benefits in Middle East. Fewer countries have one-week paternity leave for fathers and UAE is one of the few nations in the region to offer adoption benefits.  

  • The US is the only wealthy country in the world without any guaranteed paid parental leave at the national level, based on data from the World Policy Analysis Center. Most Canadian provinces mandate standard leave and benefits for parents, with options of being extended as needed.  

  • In Central and South America, Chilean workers can take up to 30 weeks of maternity leave, with 18 weeks considered standard. Women are entitled to six weeks before and 12 weeks after the birth of their child.    

Published on: September 21, 2022

Authors: Wenchao Dong

Topics: Global, Inclusion and Diversity

Wenchao Dong

Director, Global Affairs, HR Policy Association

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Contact Wenchao Dong LinkedIn

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