How maternity leave varies around the world

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Thursday 18 February 2016 09:20
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While ranking as one of the worst developed countries in the world to give birth, things would appear to start looking up for mothers in Britain afterwards.

Data from the OECD, and shown in this chart from Statista, shows that Britain ranks better than European neighbours like Ireland, Italy and Croatia in terms of paid maternity leave.

Here's how selected countries around the world vary on number of weeks statutory maternity pay:

Note: Bulgaria is not a full OECD member, but is in the application process and is therefore included in its data.

The measurement is not a perfect one for welfare of parenting however. The OECD points out that countries like Ireland and the UK do not offer full pay for mothers on maternity leave and therefore the real amount of paid time-off only equates to nine and twelve weeks respectively.

The OECD countries that perform best - when maternity leave, paternity leave and paid home care leave (which can extend to when the child is two or three) - are the likes of Hungary, Estonia, and Slovakia.

Spare a thought for mothers in the US, however, who are entitled to no paid time off after giving birth.

More: The 25 best countries in the world to be a mother (in terms of childbirth survival rates)

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