Here’s What Parental Leave Is Really Like Around The World
Parental leave policies vary widely around the world — from zero government-mandated paid leave in the US to 87 paid weeks in Estonia. Some countries offer long leaves to mothers, but little or no time to fathers, and reflect cultural beliefs about family structures and whether women with young children should work. Others allow families the flexibility to split the time off between two parents.
If you’re a parent in the US, it may be hard to read about other countries’ policies without feeling your blood boil. Some US companies competing for highly skilled talent have recently upped their benefits. But for most workers, especially low-income ones, the only option is unpaid leave — though not everyone is eligible and many who are can’t afford to take it.