Parental leave policies in the US have long been criticized, especially when compared to policies in other countries. In the US, new mothers and fathers can take 12 weeks off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In most states (with the exception of California, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) this leave is unpaid.
In order for this unpaid leave to be mandated by law, an expecting mother or father has to have worked at a company with more than 50 employees, have been with the company for at least one year, and have worked 1250 hours over the past year.
In comparison, most leave policies around the world offer fully paid or partially paid time off. This pay is financed in a variety of ways including by individual employers and by the government. In addition to maternity leave and paternity leave, many countries allow for parental leave. This is extra leave that parents can take after the birth of a child while still maintaining job security.
To compare how much time off new parents get, we researched parental leave policies in 39 different countries. In some countries like France and Turkey, leave is adjusted for single or multiple pregnancies. In these cases we documented time off for single pregnancies, as this is most common. Unsurprisingly, every country had mandated maternity leave.