“In a lot of companies, guys will get that guilt. If you’re not doing overtime, you’ll be passed by the guy who is because he doesn’t have family obligations,” says Michael Cusden, a Halifax marketing manager.
Cusden, 39, says he got raised eyebrows for taking a six-month parental leave. “I drew my line in the sand,” said Cusden, who now makes it clear that his weeknights are reserved for family. Even so, his leisure time has dried up to a couple of hours on the weekend and he often combines his own errands with playground trips. Being overwhelmed, he says, is “not a mom thing any more. It’s a parent thing.”
As a dad on parental leave who happens to be very much connected to an online group of dad bloggers, I was asking about other’s experiences.
The more and more I hear from other dads, the more I realize I have it pretty good living in Canada. We have a much longer period of time where we are granted paid leave to take care of a child.
My wife and I were discussing this and she said it would be a good blog post topic to see what the rest of the world offers in paid maternity/parental leave.
So, I did. It is always a good idea to listen to your wife.
When it comes to the world’s maternity leaves report card, not all countries are passing with flying colours.
In a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2012, the majority of the United States (excluding two states) received a failing grade in providing women and new mothers support entering motherhood. Based on what I hear from friends who live there, this did not surprise me at all. It is hard to believe they get so little time.
I have friends living in the US who are from Canada and this really bummed them out. Knowing they would not get the time to spend with their baby that they would have back home.
In at least 178 countries around the world, paid leave is guaranteed for working moms, while more than 50 countries provide wage benefits for fathers, according to the ILO. The United States, along with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and Lesotho are some of the only countries in the world that provide no type of financial support for mothers, according to a study done by McGill University’s Institute for Health and Social Policy.
The group looked at the top developed countries that are succeeding in maternity leave benefits, and which ones continue to fall far, far behind.
The country with the longest paid leave topped out at 420 days, while the length of time for countries with the lowest paid and unpaid leaves was around 12 weeks. Any guesses before reading on?
Here are the maternity leave benefits for 43 developed countries from shortest to longest periods of time based on data collected in 2011.
A link to all countries can be found at the bottom.
After going through this list, I have to say I am pretty happy to be living in Canada. Granted only having half of your pay is hard, but at least I get six months of it.