In a perfect world, every country would provide significant employment benefits to new parents who want to bond with their child. Unfortunately, although some countries really step up and embrace how important it is to the child, parent and workplace to allow this time, other countries simply miss the mark. It is important to note that the below figures are paternity leave only, not maternity leave. Some countries are generous with maternity leave benefits but drop the ball completely when it comes paternity leave.
- Austria – A certain percentage of pay provided from one to three years. The percentage is based on their income from the previous year.
- Bulgaria – Interestingly, a father or even a grandparent is permitted to take maternity leave, rather than the mother and receive 100 percent salary for a full year.
- Italy – Up to 13 weeks are permitted with 80 percent pay, but the total for both parents has to remain under 26 weeks.
- Malta – Although Malta only gives two days with 100 percent pay, sadly, it is more than most.
- Norway – Here is a very generous country. The mother is granted 56 total weeks, 46 of which are 100 percent paid and 10 are 80 percent however, the father can take the 10 weeks if he chooses. Then, the mother will only be permitted 46 weeks.
- Poland – Although Poland used to give seven days at 100 percent, it was increased to 14 days in 2011.
- Spain – The father is permitted to take 15 days at 100 percent of his pay, but it comes out of the mother’s 16 week total.
- Canada – Up to 35 weeks total at $468/week is permitted that must be shared between both parents. Either the mother or father can take it all, or they can split it up as they choose.
- Guatemala – Two days are granted at birth.
- United States – It takes a degree to figure out paternity leave in this country. There is no cut and dry answer. It depends on the length of employment, company size and number of employees. It also varies from one state to another.
- Cameroon – There are actually a few African countries that offer 10 days paid leave other than Cameroon. These include Chad, Djibouti, Gabon and Togo.
- Australia – Either a mother or father can take 18 weeks at $596/week. They are permitted up to 52 weeks total, but one or the other is paid for those 18 weeks.
- Indonesia – Two days are paid at birth.
- Lebanon – One whole day is paid at 100 percent.
- Philippines – One full week can be taken for 100 percent pay as long as the couple is married.
- Sri Lanka – Three full days are paid at 100 percent.
- United Nations – Four weeks are provided with 100 percent pay. Staff members who aren’t permitted to live with their family because they serve at a location are given eight weeks.
Countries that you would think would offer some type of paternity leave, but don’t, include Albania, Greece, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad/Tobago, Angola, Botswana, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Zimbabwe, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen. One can only hope these countries will learn to appreciate the importance of family bonding in the future.