Every day, everywhere around the world, people are getting pregnant and giving birth and the transitioning phase coupled with work is quite stressful.
Maternity itself is a very beautiful experience because sometimes despite the pain you face during childbirth and the period of pregnancy when you see that little person in your arms, you can’t help but feel really grateful.
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What is Maternity Leave?
This refers to the period of time that a mother takes off from work following the birth of her baby. Some companies also allow the same for men which are referred to as paternity leave.
It is expected that parents that are expecting to take maternity leave should plan ahead financially for several weeks of no pay or reduced pay, in addition to the extra costs associated with newborn babies.
The number of weeks allowed for maternity leave and the percentage of pay varies, depending on the country. Some are very favorable, while some are quite manageable.
It is very expedient that after childbirth, the new mum is given some time away from work in order for them to take care of herself, her baby and be mentally fit before they can resume back to work.
In some parts of the world, new mums can take several months off work after giving birth and they don’t have to worry about money because they would still be getting paid, while in some countries,
the new mum is paid the same amount as the salary they were making before or offered a certain percentage of their former salary, starting at about 30%.
In most developed nations of the world, the new mums are paid at least half of their previous salary during their time off.
Research has proven that paid maternity leave is very good for both individuals, businesses, and the economy.
A study proposed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that it keeps women enthusiastic and in the workforce and lowers their need for public assistance.
Across the world, there are several policies that govern maternity leave which I’d be discussing in this article so I’d urge you not to skip any aspect of this article.
Here are some countries and their maternity leave policies
Greece provides every new mum with 43 weeks off and also pays them about 54.2% of their previous salary, which comes out to 23.3 weeks with full-time pay.
These lucky Irish mothers get 26 weeks of maternity leave, but they’re paid just 34.3% of their salary. If they were fully paid, that leave would come out to 8.9 weeks.
Research has shown that Israel has one of the highest birth rates in the developed world.
In Israel, maternity leave is guaranteed for 14 weeks with 100% pay.
Nigeria’s current civil service rule offers new mothers four months of maternity leave. One month is usually given to pregnant mothers before birth and three months after birth.
Also, nursing mothers are also permitted to close early upon resumption until the baby is six months old.
Italy provides the new mum with 21.7 weeks of maternity leave at 80% pay, making the equivalent time off with full-time pay would be 17.4 weeks.
6. South Korea
In South Korea, mothers are provided maternity leave for 12.9 weeks at 79.5% pay. This works out to 10.2 weeks of fully-paid leave.
New moms in Mexico get three months of fully-paid leave. Mexico assures its new mothers 12 weeks of maternity leave at a 100% pay rate.
8. United Kingdom
The United kingdom allows about 52 weeks of maternity leave, but only the first 39 weeks are partially paid.
Mothers in the UK are allowed up to a whole year off for maternity leave, but only the first 39 weeks are paid at a rate of 30.9% of their former salary.
9. United States
New mums in the US are offered leave but with no pay. The US is the only developed country that doesn’t give new mothers any paid leave.
The US has no federal law guaranteeing women (or men) paid time off after they have a baby. Instead, they leave it up to employers, which results in more than 45% of companies choosing not to offer any paid maternity leave at all.
However, Some companies still take it upon themselves to offer paid leave.
Mothers in France usually get about 16 weeks off after the birth of their baby, paid at an average of 94.2% of their previous salary. This equates to 15.1 weeks paid at a full-time rate.
Croatia sits on the higher end of the spectrum by offering 30 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave.
Just In Case you’re wondering which country has the best maternity leave experience;
Research has proven that the eastern European country of Bulgaria is the most generous with maternity leave.
Her female workers or mothers are entitled to up to 410 days of maternity leave provided in a phased approach.
This leave is funded at nearly full pay, covering 90% of the employee’s salary through social security.
When Women Are On Maternity Leave Who Do their Jobs?
In many cases, the company hires a temporary worker to cover the position while the mother is on maternity leave.
But that is if it’s a country that offers a decent maternity leave period.
Like in the US the mother only takes a few weeks (not a year) so the company may just decide to have current workers take excess duties until the mother returns if that’s the case.
Do I Get A Maternity Leave If I Adopt?
Yes In the UK, not only do you get full maternity leave for a newborn but also for older children. A new child in the family, regardless of age, needs time to adjust as does the new family.
But It all still depends on your company’s policies but if they offer maternity leave, adoption should be included.
Some companies wouldn’t accept maternity leave for an adopted child, the reason being that maternity leave is meant for the mother who gave birth to recover from the stress of childbirth and so that they might be able to care for the newborn.
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