Sunday, July 29th, 2007 at 3:14 pm in Babies & Tots.
When it comes to parental leave, apparently you’d be better off having a baby in Slovenia, Cuba or South Korea. And if you’re a dad — move to Japan. According to a National Geographic survey, 163 out of 168 countries offer federally-guaranteed paid leave to new mothers so they can stay home and care for their newborns. Guess which group the United States falls into? Yup, it’s one of the five that don’t, along with Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and Australia. The latter provides no funds, but at least guarantees a year of unpaid leave. The U.S., by contrast, offers 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In other words, your job will be waiting for you and, er, good luck with that rent.
California enacted a paid family leave law in 2002 to provide women, who have paid into the state’s temporary disability insurance fund, with a partial salary (up to 55 percent) for up to six weeks, and many employers make up the difference. But it’s enlightening to look at other countries’ policies …
Russia, Cuba, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, South Korea and several other countries (depicted in dark blue on the map) offer at least 52 weeks and full wages. The countries tinted royal blue on the color-coded map provide a range of plans, from 14 weeks at full pay to a year at half-salary. And the tan? Nada. Read the full report in the August issue of National Geographic.
What kind of parental leave did you get when your baby arrived?
— Jackie Burrell