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Parental Leave Policies Around the World: Which Countries Support Parents the Most?

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As the majority of parents are now a part of the workforce, the decision to have a child often raises financial concerns. How much support a company will give new parents is largely determined by where they live.

Most countries provide some level of maternity leave. Assuming previous employment for more than one year, the U.S. provides one of the shortest paid leaves at 6 to 12 weeks, along with Hong Kong and UAE at 10 and 9 weeks. The shortest is Lebanon with just 7 weeks. On the flip side, the Czech Republic requires that new parents take at least 14 weeks and will pay up to 48 months of parental leave for mothers and fathers. Sweden, Germany, Norway, and Denmark also offer over 50 weeks paid before and after childbirth or adoption. Australia offers dad and Partner Pay at minimum wage for 18 weeks for working fathers and partners and provides a "Baby Bonus" every two weeks after birth for each child in a multiple birth.

Mercer has transformed the data they gathered in their 2013 Worldwide Benefit & Employment Guidelines into this infographic that puts global parental leave policies into perspective:

2013-11-20-131111MERCER62PARENTALLEAVE2.png