Monday, August 11, 2008

Parental Leave

I happened across this page which describes parental leave in different countries by accident. (No Mom-we are not pregnant!)

The only 2 countries on there that do NOT have paid maternity leave are the US and Australia.

To be fair, there is no information on a tiny country in South Africa called Lesotho and the former Russian controlled country Latvia. So, maybe, there are 4 countries that have no paid maternity leave.

Draw your own conclusions but I really enjoyed the mostly unpaid 5 1/2 months I had with my little guy. Babies are so helpless at that point it felt really strange to be taking him to daycare when he could hardly hold himself up or crawl (and that was at 6 months!) They need their mommies at that point.

Reason number 841 why I am in Europe


planetgermany said...

How weird that the Americans and Australians don't have paid parental leave! I wonder why on earth not!

Yelli said...

Oh, but don't you know that parental leave would bankrupt the country??? :)

Believe me, I and probably every other American (and possibly Aussie) in my place is wondering the same thing...

arturgreensward said...

It should be noted that many US companies and organizations do have paid parental leave... but there is no federal law mandating it.

Yelli said...

I am sure there are some companies that give paid parental leave but mine just "allowed" me to use my sick and vacation days. After those ran out, I was guaranteed a job for 6 months I think (the FMLA act) but not a paycheck.

I think this is the more common approach to maternity leave in the states. However, these other countries allow maternity leave in addition to their vacation and sick days. Just because a baby is born doesn't mean that one doesn't need sick/vacation days. Babies get sick! (Especially if they are in daycare!)

arturgreensward said...

Just to continue to be contrary... I could also note that while Germany has excellent paid maternity leave there is a dire shortage of day care options in most places, therefore making it very difficult for mothers to go back to work at all until their child starts school.

Yelli said...

To continue to continue to be contrary... :)

I think finding childcare in the US in some (probably larger) cities is also difficult. I know in Seattle, we were on like 3 wait lists. Our friends who have 2 kids were having a heck of a time trying to find a place to accommodate both of their children!

However, I am no expert in childcare in Europe vs America. I think you said you were also in Seattle at one point so maybe you had a different impression. But again, as a former scientist, my n is small and personal experiences do not account for scientifically valid data. And I am not even sure where I would start to find this!