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The Best and Worst Countries for Paid Maternity Leave

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World Map Showing the Paid Maternity Leaves Around the World
The World Map Depicts the Paid Maternity Leave Provided by Each Nation

 

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Paid maternity leave is a privilege that is granted to would-be-mothers or new mothers. Paid maternity leave entitles a mother to take leave from office for a stipulated time immediately before or after child birth and still get her monthly salary. Maternity leave is basically provided to enable a mother to fully recover from child birth. It is also aimed at strengthening the bond between a mother and her child. Though paid maternity leave is beneficial for expecting and new mothers, but the leaves granted are not uniform across the world. While some nations are quite generous and may grant more than a year of paid maternity leaves, there are some where no paid maternity leaves are provided.

The United States is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to paid maternity leaves. According to the World Policy Analysis Center’s 2014 data, the United States provides no paid maternity leave to employees. However, the United States is not alone. Other nations where there is no paid maternity leaves are Marshall Islands, Federates States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Suriname, and Tonga.

There are a large number of nations where mothers gets less than 14 weeks of paid leaves. Some of these nations are Afghanistan, Argentina, Bhutan, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Peru, and others. Meanwhile, nations like Canada, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, India and some others are quite generous when it comes to giving paid leaves to expecting and new mothers. Here the paid maternity leaves range between 26 to 51.9 weeks. This means that mothers here can take between 6 months to a year off from office and still get paid.

However, if you thought that these were the most generous nations in terms of paid maternity leaves, then read further on. There are many nations which provide 52 weeks or more of paid maternity leave. This means that here mothers can get a year or more of paid leave. Some of the nations that fall in this category are Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Austria and many other nations.

The table below provides information on the paid maternity leaves provided by each nation.

Country Maternity Paid leave
Marshall Islands No paid leave for mothers
Federates States of Micronesia No paid leave for mothers
Nauru No paid leave for mothers
Palau No paid leave for mothers
Papua New Guinea No paid leave for mothers
Suriname No paid leave for mothers
Tonga No paid leave for mothers
United States of America No paid leave for mothers
Afghanistan Less than 14 weeks
Angola Less than 14 weeks
Antigua and Barbuda Less than 14 weeks
Argentina Less than 14 weeks
Bahamas Less than 14 weeks
Bahrain Less than 14 weeks
Barbados Less than 14 weeks
Bhutan Less than 14 weeks
Bolivia Less than 14 weeks
Botswana Less than 14 weeks
Burundi Less than 14 weeks
Cambodia Less than 14 weeks
Cape Verde Less than 14 weeks
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Less than 14 weeks
Dominica Less than 14 weeks
Dominican Republic Less than 14 weeks
Ecuador Less than 14 weeks
Egypt Less than 14 weeks
El Salvador Less than 14 weeks
Equatorial Guinea Less than 14 weeks
Eritrea Less than 14 weeks
Ethiopia Less than 14 weeks
Fiji Less than 14 weeks
Ghana Less than 14 weeks
Grenada Less than 14 weeks
Guatemala Less than 14 weeks
Guinea-Bissau Less than 14 weeks
Guyana Less than 14 weeks
Haiti Less than 14 weeks
Honduras Less than 14 weeks
Indonesia Less than 14 weeks
Iraq Less than 14 weeks
Jamaica Less than 14 weeks
Jordan Less than 14 weeks
Kenya Less than 14 weeks
Kiribati Less than 14 weeks
Kuwait Less than 14 weeks
Laos Less than 14 weeks
Lebanon Less than 14 weeks
Lesotho Less than 14 weeks
Liberia Less than 14 weeks
Malawi Less than 14 weeks
Malaysia Less than 14 weeks
Maldives Less than 14 weeks
Mauritius Less than 14 weeks
Mexico Less than 14 weeks
Mozambique Less than 14 weeks
Myanmar Less than 14 weeks
Namibia Less than 14 weeks
Nepal Less than 14 weeks
Nicaragua Less than 14 weeks
Nigeria Less than 14 weeks
Oman Less than 14 weeks
Pakistan Less than 14 weeks
Paraguay Less than 14 weeks
Peru Less than 14 weeks
Qatar Less than 14 weeks
Rwanda Less than 14 weeks
Samoa Less than 14 weeks
Sao Tome and Principe Less than 14 weeks
Saudi Arabia Less than 14 weeks
Sierra Leone Less than 14 weeks
Solomon Islands Less than 14 weeks
South Sudan Less than 14 weeks
Sri Lanka Less than 14 weeks
St. Kitts and Nevis Less than 14 weeks
St. Lucia Less than 14 weeks
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Less than 14 weeks
Sudan Less than 14 weeks
Swaziland Less than 14 weeks
Tanzania Less than 14 weeks
Thailand Less than 14 weeks
The Philippines Less than 14 weeks
Timor-Leste Less than 14 weeks
Tunisia Less than 14 weeks
Tuvalu Less than 14 weeks
Uganda Less than 14 weeks
United Arab Emirates Less than 14 weeks
Uruguay Less than 14 weeks
Vanuatu Less than 14 weeks
Yemen Less than 14 weeks
Algeria 14 – 25.9 weeks
Andorra 14 – 25.9 weeks
Australia 14 – 25.9 weeks
Bangladesh 14 – 25.9 weeks
Belize 14 – 25.9 weeks
Benin 14 – 25.9 weeks
Brazil 14 – 25.9 weeks
Brunei 14 – 25.9 weeks
Burkina Faso 14 – 25.9 weeks
Cameroon 14 – 25.9 weeks
Central African Republic 14 – 25.9 weeks
Chad 14 – 25.9 weeks
China 14 – 25.9 weeks
Colombia 14 – 25.9 weeks
Comoros 14 – 25.9 weeks
Costa Rica 14 – 25.9 weeks
Cote d’Ivoire 14 – 25.9 weeks
Cyprus 14 – 25.9 weeks
Democratic Republic of the Congo 14 – 25.9 weeks
Djibouti 14 – 25.9 weeks
Gabon 14 – 25.9 weeks
Georgia 14 – 25.9 weeks
Guinea 14 – 25.9 weeks
Israel 14 – 25.9 weeks
Kazakhstan 14 – 25.9 weeks
Kyrgyzstan 14 – 25.9 weeks
Libya 14 – 25.9 weeks
Liechtenstein 14 – 25.9 weeks
Madagascar 14 – 25.9 weeks
Mali 14 – 25.9 weeks
Malta 14 – 25.9 weeks
Mauritania 14 – 25.9 weeks
Monaco 14 – 25.9 weeks
Morocco 14 – 25.9 weeks
New Zealand 14 – 25.9 weeks
Niger 14 – 25.9 weeks
Panama 14 – 25.9 weeks
Republic of the Congo 14 – 25.9 weeks
Senegal 14 – 25.9 weeks
Seychelles 14 – 25.9 weeks
Singapore 14 – 25.9 weeks
Somalia 14 – 25.9 weeks
South Africa 14 – 25.9 weeks
Spain 14 – 25.9 weeks
Switzerland 14 – 25.9 weeks
Syria 14 – 25.9 weeks
The Netherlands 14 – 25.9 weeks
Togo 14 – 25.9 weeks
Trinidad and Tobago 14 – 25.9 weeks
Turkey 14 – 25.9 weeks
Turkmenistan 14 – 25.9 weeks
Zambia 14 – 25.9 weeks
Zimbabwe 14 – 25.9 weeks
Belgium 26 – 51.9 weeks
Canada 26 – 51.9 weeks
Chile 26 – 51.9 weeks
France 26 – 51.9 weeks
Greece 26 – 51.9 weeks
Iceland 26 – 51.9 weeks
India 26 – 51.9 weeks
Iran 26 – 51.9 weeks
Ireland 26 – 51.9 weeks
Italy 26 – 51.9 weeks
Luxembourg 26 – 51.9 weeks
Macedonia 26 – 51.9 weeks
Norway 26 – 51.9 weeks
Portugal 26 – 51.9 weeks
The Gambia 26 – 51.9 weeks
United Kingdom 26 – 51.9 weeks
Venezuela 26 – 51.9 weeks
Vietnam 26 – 51.9 weeks
Albania 52 weeks or more
Armenia 52 weeks or more
Austria 52 weeks or more
Azerbaijan 52 weeks or more
Belarus 52 weeks or more
Bosnia and Herzegovina 52 weeks or more
Bulgaria 52 weeks or more
Croatia 52 weeks or more
Cuba 52 weeks or more
Czech Republic 52 weeks or more
Denmark 52 weeks or more
Estonia 52 weeks or more
Finland 52 weeks or more
Germany 52 weeks or more
Hungary 52 weeks or more
Japan 52 weeks or more
Latvia 52 weeks or more
Lithuania 52 weeks or more
Moldova 52 weeks or more
Mongolia 52 weeks or more
Montenegro 52 weeks or more
Poland 52 weeks or more
Republic of Korea 52 weeks or more
Romania 52 weeks or more
Russian Federation 52 weeks or more
San Marino 52 weeks or more
Serbia 52 weeks or more
Slovakia 52 weeks or more
Slovenia 52 weeks or more
Sweden 52 weeks or more
Tajikistan 52 weeks or more
Ukraine 52 weeks or more
Uzbekistan 52 weeks or more

(Data sourced from World Policy Analysis Center)

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