How Long Is the Average Maternity Leave?

Maternity Leave Is a Time for Bonding With Baby

parents with newborn baby

When planning for a new baby, one issue you may be curious about is how plenty time you will have for maternity go away. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits workers to take up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month length for parental leave to care for a new child. Your activity is blanketed in the meantime, even though your business enterprise isn't always required to pay you for maternity depart. In truth, the U.S. is one in all only a few industrialized nations that do not mandate paid maternity go away for brand new mother and father.

But how do maternity leave rules inside the U.S. evaluate to the average maternity go away in different international locations? If you'll soon be taking time far from work to attend to a new package deal of pleasure, right here's what you want to recognize.

Average Maternity Leave inside the U.S.

FMLA prescribes 12 weeks of unpaid go away for new mother and father however the average maternity go away frequently ends up being shorter. Approximately 70% of ladies document taking day off following being pregnant, with the average maternity leave lasting 10 weeks. Roughly half of latest mothers take as a minimum five weeks of leave, whilst 25% take 9 weeks or longer to live domestic with a brand new child.

A smaller percent of moms–sixteen%–simplest take one to 4 weeks off work following childbirth. And the last third of recent mothers do not take any day without work at all, going returned to work almost right away.

When it comes to paid maternity depart, non-public corporations can determine what to offer their employees. According to a 2018 Mercer survey, 40% of employers now offer some form of paid maternity go away, up from 25% in 2015. And numerous states have enacted legislation to offer paid circle of relatives leave blessings for new parents; paid leave is available for up to 8 weeks, despite the fact that some taking part states plan to increase this up to 12 weeks by means of 2020.

In phrases of the way a lot pay new moms get hold of on maternity leave, the average weekly pay for nation paid go away programs ranged from $637 to $1,216. Among personal employers that provide paid parental depart, eighty% provide their personnel with full pay throughout the leave length. On average, paid maternity depart lasts 4 weeks.

The companies with the maximum generous paid maternity leave guidelines include Netflix, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Automattic. The first two offer fifty two weeks of paid leave; Automattic is available in 2nd with 32 weeks of paid depart. 


In addition to maternity leave, more groups are presenting paid paternity depart blessings for looking ahead to and new fathers.

Average Maternity Leave Around the World

Compared to other international locations, the U.S. lags behind in terms of the common maternity leave length. More than a hundred and twenty nations provide paid maternity go away and fitness blessings by means of regulation; the Czech Republic gives the maximum paid maternity go away by regulation, at 28 weeks. Just 33 international locations mandate maternity depart of less than 12 weeks.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) specifies guidelines for maternity leave standards, which can be currently observed by way of 119 international locations. The guidelines name for a minimum 12-week maternity depart, with at least 14 weeks advocated. And the usual installed by using the ILO also specifies that women should be paid at least -thirds in their earnings while on go away, whilst receiving complete health insurance advantages.

Countries that adhere to the ILO requirements require ladies to give their employers develop be aware for taking paid maternity leave.

In a few international locations, being eligible for paid go away can depend upon the variety of children a lady already has, how frequently she gives start, how lengthy she's been with the business enterprise and/or her working hours.

For example, a few nations restrict women to 2 paid leaves for the duration of the course of their careers, while others require ladies to depart a 3-12 months hole between leave periods.

Why Is the Average Maternity Leave within the U.S. Different?

There are some of reasons that would explain why the U.S. takes a special view of maternity leave as compared to different nations.

  • One opportunity can be that ladies are much less likely to be the only profits-earners for their households in the U.S. in comparison to different countries. In Europe, as an instance, fifty nine% of women provide 1/2 or more in their circle of relatives's profits, versus 55% within the U.S.
  • Another clarification can be decrease ranges of presidency oversight in how businesses set their policies regarding maternity leave. While groups must allow for the 12 unpaid weeks of depart required by means of FMLA, there may be no federal law that asserts they also should pay their employees on maternity leave.
  • And at the same time as Americans largely guide paid leave, they may be not continually willing to sacrifice their personal financial nicely-being to make it a federal regulation. In a 2018 Cato survey, 74% of Americans are in favor of a federal paid coverage for new mothers. But, greater than half of Americans said they'd oppose it if investment this kind of policy the use of tax greenbacks increase their income tax liability by $450 or extra.

Planning Financially for Maternity Leave

Regardless of whether or not you take the common maternity leave of 10 weeks, or go shorter or longer together with your go away plans, you want to keep in mind the monetary effect if you won't be gathering a paycheck during that point. Specifically, evaluate your price range to determine if you will need to lessen spending briefly. Check your emergency fund savings cushion to ensure you have got cash in reserves for sudden charges. And finally, take a look at to peer if your organisation gives quick-time period incapacity insurance that includes maternity coverage. That could assist to supplement your family profits until you return to work.