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Maternity leave around the world

Having a baby changes everything!

Having a baby also differs around the world in terms of maternity leave. So, how does our UK parental leave stack up against the rest of the world?


Female employees can take as much as 52 weeks maternity leave and be paid for the first 6 weeks. Usually those first 6 weeks are paid at 90% of average weekly earnings before tax and the remaining 33 weeks at either £151.20 or 90% of the average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. Shared parental leave is also offered which allows eligible parents to divide up time off between themselves. 

Also as an employee on statutory maternity leave you are entitled to pay days, annual leave and your right to return to work. 


Paid leave for a total of 26 weeks, paid at 100% for the full 26 weeks.


Maternity leave lasts for 14 weeks with 80% of the salary paid. 


Mothers are allowed 16 weeks leave for their first two children but that increases to 26 weeks for a third. Depending on the industry you work in, as much of your 100% of your salary can be paid whilst off. 


The US is the only country without a national statutory paid maternity, paternity or parental leave.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) state 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.


Maternity and paternity leave both full under parental leave which is 12 months unpaid and for which parents can claim 18 weeks leave pay, based on the national minimum wage. Even though each parent is entitled to unpaid job-protected leave, only one parent can take it at a time.   


Parents get 46 weeks with a full salary; or 59 weeks at 80% pay. Parental leave can be split between parents.

16-18 weeks is shared, and parents can divide this leave among themselves as needed.


If you have been with your company at least 6 months, you get a maximum of 15 weeks paid leave. After that, either parent can share the remaining 37 weeks of the year with job security.