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maternity leave around the world

how does the UK stack up against the rest

Having a baby changes everything. Your sleep schedule, your definition of the word “relaxing” and the amount of time you spend picking someone else’s lunch off the floor.

Here’s how our parental leave policy stacks up around the world:

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United Kingdom

British moms can take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave and be paid for up to 39 of them. Usually the first 6 weeks are paid at 90% of average weekly earnings before tax, and the remaining 33 weeks are paid at either £139.58 or 90% of the average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. Plus, the UK also offers shared parental leave, which allows eligible parents’ to divvy up the time off between the two of them. Brilliant!
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Along with wine and croissants, add maternity leave policy to the list of reasons to envy the French. Here, first- and second-time moms receive 16 paid weeks of at 100% of their salary. A third-time mom can enjoy 26 weeks off at full salary. And if you’re expecting twins, expect 34 weeks of fully paid time off.
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14 weeks, paid. Thumbs up, Germany.
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13 weeks for mama and 12 weeks for papa, at 80% of your salary. Plus, you get to tell people you live in Iceland and that it’s actually very green there, which always seems to astonish people.
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14 weeks, 80% paid. Not to shabby, Switzerland. Plus, they also have the Alps.
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United States

The Family Medical Leave Act means that American mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. In some states, you may use short-term disability insurance to get 60% of your salary. If you’re lucky, you work at Netflix and get unlimited PTO.
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Paid parental leave down under lasts up to 18 weeks, at the national minimum wage provided your primary caregiver makes less than $150K per year. Beyond that, you’ll get up to 52 weeks unpaid, that you can share between parents however you like.
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Definitely consider moving here before you have kids because this is pretty drool worthy: parental leave can be split between parents. You’ll get 100% of your salary if you take 49 weeks of leave, or 80% if you’d prefer 59 weeks of leave.
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If you’ve been with your company at least 6 months, you get 17 weeks of paid leave. After that, either parent can share the remaining 37 weeks of the year, with job security. Nice job, Canada!
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