These 9 Countries Have the World's Best Maternity Leave Policies [infographic]

Forget Google's celebrated five-month maternity leave. If you lived in one of these nine countries, you'd have a year off (much of it, paid) to spend with your brand-new family member.

Here a few facts to ponder, while negotiating your time off with your boss:

1. Sweden offers the most generous maternity leave policy, with 56 weeks paid at 80 percent of citizens' salary, and 13 additional weeks paid at a fixed rate thereafter.

2. In some central European countries, the standard maternity leave is three years.

3. Adoptive parents and same-sex parents get parental leave in the U.K., Canada, France, and yes, Sweden.

4. There is still zero mandated maternity leave benefits in the U.S., although companies with over 50 employees are obligated to offer three months of unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

5. This makes the U.S. one of only four countries in the world with no required paid maternity leave. The others are Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea.

maternity leave around the world 

 (Infographic via The Huffington Post)

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(Photo Credit: Carolyn Coles/Flickr)


  1. 2 Marta 08 Feb
    Liberia, Swaziland do provide paid maternal leave, UN reports.
  2. 1 AG 06 Dec
    Some of your content doesn't accurately reflect maternity leave. It is not typical for people to get 3 years maternity leave anywhere in the world. However, there are places, like Denmark that give over one year's maternity leave at 100 percent salary and other countries that provide a sort of stipend for a certain period of time and that might be where you are getting your three years number, but that isn't maternity leave.


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