Maternity Leave Benefits Around the World

Maternity Leave Benefits Around the World

Maternity leave for working women can help balance a career and the baby. But does it benefit on the financial front as well? In this Buzzle article, we take a look at the maternity leave benefits around the world.
Did You Know?
The U.S. is one of the very few countries in the world which does not provide paid maternity leave. However, certain states and employers may offer cash benefits.

Pregnancy can be a blissful surprise, but if you are a working woman, it poses a challenge of managing time for the baby and work. The first question and concern of working moms-to-be is balancing work and the up-coming change in their lives with handling multiple roles. Most women have concerns about leaves they will need before and after the birth of the baby. This raises concerns on the financial front as well. The sudden drop in income, along with increasing expenses, can lead to worrying and stress.

In such a scenario, maternity leave comes as a blessing for working moms-to-be. Today, most countries of the world provide benefits for expecting mothers, both from the government and the employer as well. Maternity leave is a major aspect of these benefits.

However, not all countries provide paid leaves and benefits of maternity leave. There are a few countries which do not provide paid leaves, but they do have a policy for job assurance. Some countries provide complete benefits like a paid leave with job assurance, both before and after the birth of the baby. We will look at the maternity leave policies in different countries around the world, in the compilation below.

Data sourced from the ILO Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws, 2012.

Maternity Leaves Around the World
Index for Countries

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Afghanistan
Afghanistan entitles women with paid maternity leave for 12 weeks at 100 percent pay.

Albania
Albania entitles women 1 year (52 weeks) of maternity leave. This leave is paid at the rate of 80 percent of the annual income, prior to birth, through 150 days. The remainder is paid at 50% of the wages.

Algeria
Female employees in Algeria are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave. This leave is paid with 100 percent wages.

Angola
In Angola women are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, with 100 percent wages.

Argentina
Women employees have the benefit of paid maternity leave and job security in Argentina. They are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages, by their employer.

Armenia
Armenia entitles women with a paid leave of 20 weeks, along with job security. Extended leaves are granted in case of complications in childbirth.

Aruba
Aruba entitles working women with a paid maternity leave of 12 weeks at 100 percent wages paid.

Australia
Australia entitles women to 52 weeks of maternity leave. However, this leave is unpaid.

Austria
In Austria, women get a total of 16 weeks of paid leave with 100 percent pay.

Azerbaijain
In Azerbaijain, women employees are entitled, 126 days of maternity leave. this leave is paid with 100 percent wages.

Bahamas
Working women in Bahamas get a paid maternity leave of 12 weeks, with 100 percent of their wages paid.

Bahrain
Women employees in Bahrain can apply for 8 weeks of paid maternity leave and 2 weeks of unpaid leave. Leave is paid with 100 percent wages, for the first 45 days.

Bangladesh
16 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Barbados
A total of 12 weeks of maternity leave is granted to working women in Barbados, with 100 percent wages paid for the leave.

Belarus
Women employees in Belarus are entitled to 18 weeks paid maternity leave, with 100 wages paid. Another 3 years of unpaid maternity leave, with job protection is also granted.

Belgium
15 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 82 percent wages for the first 30 days, and 75 percent for the remaining period.

Belize
14 weeks of paid leave is granted to working women, with 100 percent wages paid.

Benin
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Bolivia
Bolivia has a paid leave of 12 weeks at the rate of 100% of minimum wages, plus 70% of
difference calculated, between minimum wage and regular earnings.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a maternity paid leave policy of 52 weeks at the rate of 60 percent of the wages, for working women.

Botswana
12 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after childbirth. Leaves are paid with minimum 25 percent wages.

Brazil
A total of 17 weeks of maternity leave is entitled to working women in Brazil. This leave is paid at 100 percent wages. Another 8 weeks of supplementary leave can also be added to this with the discretion of the employer.

Bulgaria
Working women in Bulgaria are entitled to 19 weeks paid maternity leave with 90 percent wages paid.

Burkina Faso
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Burundi
Women employees are granted 12 weeks of paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages for the leave period.

Cambodia
Cambodia entitles working women to a total of 90 days (12.8 weeks approx.) of paid leave in a year, which is paid with 50 percent of wages.

Cameroon
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Canada
Working women in Canada, get a paid leave of up to 15 weeks. However, there is also a paid leave of 35 weeks, which is parental leave that can be taken by the mother or father after childbirth. The leave is paid at 55 percent of wages.

Central African Republic
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 50 percent wages.

Chad
Maternity leave in Chad is 14 weeks. This leave is paid with 100 percent of the wages.

Chile
Working women in Chile get a paid maternity leave of 18 weeks. The leave is paid at 100 percent wages.

China
Working women in China get a paid maternity leave of 12 weeks. The leave is paid at 100 percent wages.

Columbia
Working women in Columbia get a paid maternity leave of 12 weeks. The leave is paid at 100 percent wages.

Comoros
Working women in Comoros get a paid maternity leave of 14 weeks. The leave is paid at 100 percent wages.

Congo
15 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Costa Rica
Women employees are entitled 18 weeks (approx.) of paid maternity leave. The leave is paid with 100 percent wages.

Cote d'Ivoire
Working women in Cote d'Ivoire are entitled to 14 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid during leave period.

Croatia
52 weeks of paid leaves are entitled to women in Croatia. These leaves must be taken before and after the birth of the baby. The first 6 months of leave are paid with 100 percent wages.

Cuba
18 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Cyprus
Working women in Cyprus are entitled to 18 weeks of paid leave. The first two months are paid at 75 percent wages, and a specific percentage is decided for the remaining leave.

Czech Republic
Female employees are entitled to 28 weeks of paid leave in Czech Republic. The leave is paid at the rate of 70 percent of the wages.

Denmark
Women employees in Denmark are entitled to 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Public sector employees benefit with 100 percent wages paid during leave, while private sector employees get a minimum benefit as per employer discretion.

Djibouti
14 weeks of paid leaves are entitled to women in Djibouti. These leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Dominica
12 weeks of paid leave, with up to 60 percent wages paid, is entitled to women employees. The act also ensures job protection after maternity leave.

Dominican Republic
Women employees in Dominican Republic are entitled to a total of 12 weeks of maternity leave. The leave has to be divided before and after birth. 6 weeks before the due date and 6 weeks after. The leave is paid at 100 percent of the wages.

Ecuador
Working women in Ecuador are entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid during leave period.

Egypt
In Egypt, working women are granted 12 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

El Salvador
A total of 12 weeks of paid leave is entitled to women employees. 75 percent wages are paid during leave period.

Estonia
Estonia entitles women employees with 20 weeks of paid maternity leave. 100 percent pay is given during this leave.

Ethiopia
90 days of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Fiji
Women employees in Fiji get 12 weeks paid maternity leave. These leaves are paid at a flat rate.

Finland
In Finland, 15 weeks of paid leave are entitled to women employees, with 70 percent wages paid.

France
A total of 16 weeks of maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 100 percent of wages paid.

Gabon
Paid maternity leave of 14 weeks is entitled to women employees. The leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Greece
17 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Ghana
A total of 12 weeks of paid leave is entitled to women employees. 100 percent wages are paid during leave period.

Germany
A total of 14 weeks of maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 100 percent of wages paid.

Grenada
A total of 13 weeks of paid leave is entitled to women employees. 105 percent wages are paid during leave period of first two months (8 weeks approx.). The remaining leave is paid with 65 percent wages.

Guatemala
12 weeks of paid maternity leave are entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Guinea
Women employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Guyana
13 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 70 percent wages.

Haiti
12 weeks of paid maternity leave are entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages for 6 weeks.

Honduras
A paid maternity leave of 4 weeks before birth and 6 weeks after birth is entitled to women employees. The wages paid may vary.

Hong Kong
United Kingdom, entitles working women to a total of 10 weeks of paid leave in a year, which is paid at 80 percent of their wages. Leave should start at least 4 weeks before the date of confinement.

Hungary
Working women in Hungary are entitled to 24 weeks paid maternity leave with 70 percent wages paid.

Iceland
3 months of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 70 percent wages.

India
In India, paid maternity leave is granted for 12 weeks for women employees. The leave is paid with 100 percent wages.

Indonesia
Indonesian women are entitled to 13 weeks of paid maternity leave, half of which should be taken after childbirth. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Iran
In Iran, women employees can take 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. Percentage of pay may vary, with provisions by Social Security Act.

Iraq
Women employees in Iraq, are entitled to a leave of 9 weeks, with 100 percent wages paid.

Ireland
Ireland grants 26 weeks paid maternity leave to women employees. Leaves are paid with 80 percent of wages.

Israel
14 weeks of paid leave are entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Italy
Women employees in Italy get, 22 weeks of paid maternity leave. The leave is paid with 80 percent of wages.

Jamaica
Maternity leave in Jamaica is of 12 weeks for working women, with 100 percent wages paid for the first 8 weeks of leave.

Japan
Japan, entitles working women to a total of 14 weeks of paid leave in a year, which is paid at 60 percent of their wages.

Jordan
Women employees in Jordan are entitled to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Kazakhstan
126 days of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Kenya
Kenya entitles women employees with 3 months of paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Kiribati
12 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 25 percent wages.

Korea
90 days (12.5 weeks approx.) maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Kuwait
10 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 100 percent of wages paid.

Lao people's Democratic Republic
Maternity leave is of 90 days (12.8 weeks approx.) for working women, with 100 percent wages paid.

Latvia
16 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 80 percent of wages paid.

Lebanon
Maternity leave in Lebanon, entitles women 7 weeks of leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Lesotho
Women employees get 12 weeks of paid maternity leave with 80 percent wages paid. However, there is no obligation for the employer to pay the same.

Libya
Libya entitles working women with 3 months (13 weeks approx.) of paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein entitles women employees with 8 weeks of paid maternity leave. There is no fixed percentage of wages mandated by law.

Lithuania
Women employees in Lithuania are entitled to 18 weeks paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Luxemborg
Women employees are entitled to 8 weeks of paid maternity leave before the due date and 8 weeks after childbirth. Maternity leave after childbirth can be extended by an additional 4 weeks. Leave is paid with 100 percent wages.

Madagascar
In Madagascar working women are granted 14 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Malaysia
Women employees in Malaysia are entitled to 60 days (8.5 weeks) of maternity leave. It is paid with 100 percent wages.

Mali
14 weeks of paid leave is granted to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Malta
Working women in Malta are entitled to 14 weeks paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Mauritius
In Mauritius, working women are granted 12 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid.

Mexico
Working women in Mexico are entitled to 12 weeks paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Moldova
Moldova entitles women employees with 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. 100 percent pay is given during this leave.

Mongolia
Maternity leave in Mongolia is of 17 weeks for working women, with 70 percent wages paid during leave.

Morocco
Working women are granted 14 weeks paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid during leave.

Mozambique
Women employees are granted 60 days (8.5 weeks approx.) paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid during leave.

Myanmar
Women employees in Myanmar are entitled to maternity leave of 12 weeks. These leaves are paid and the wages may vary.

Namibia
Working women are granted 12 weeks paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages paid during leave.

Nepal
Maternity leave in Nepal is of 52 days (7.4 weeks approx.) for working women, with 100 percent wages paid during leave.

Netherlands
Netherlands entitles women employees with 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. 100 percent pay is given during this leave, with job protection.

New Zealand
In New Zealand, working women are granted 14 weeks of paid leave, with 100 percent wages paid. An additional of 38 weeks of unpaid leave is also granted.

Nicaragua
12 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Nigeria
In Nigeria, working women are granted 12 weeks paid maternity leave with minimum 50 percent wages paid.

Norway
Maternity leave in Norway can vary from 46 to 56 weeks. If leave is taken for 56 weeks it is paid with 80 percent wages. If leave is taken for 46 weeks, it is paid with 100 percent pay. The employee should take at least 3 weeks leave before birth and 6 weeks after childbirth.

Pakistan
Women employees in Pakistan are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages for the leave period.

Panama
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees in Panama. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Papua New Guinea
For civil service women employees 12 weeks of maternity leave is granted, out of which 6 weeks are paid. For private employees, 12 weeks of leave is granted but, this leave is unpaid.

Paraguay
Paraguay entitles women with 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. The leaves are paid with up to 50 percent of their wages.

Peru
Women employees in Peru are entitled to 90 days (12.8 weeks approx) of paid maternity leave. Leaves are paid with 100 percent of the wages.

Philippines
A total of 8 weeks of maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 100 percent of wages paid. In case of complications in the delivery, like a c-section, the leave may be extended to 11 weeks with 100 percent wages paid.

Poland
20 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Portugal
Women employees in Portugal are entitled to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave. This leave can be extended after birth in case of any complications for up to 30 days, (4 weeks approx). Wages are paid 100 percent in case of 17 weeks of leave, 80 percent in case of additional leave of 30 days.

Qatar
50 days (7.14 weeks approx.) of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Percentage of wages paid is 100 percent.

Romania
18 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Out of this, 6 weeks of compulsory leave has to be taken after childbirth. Leaves are paid with 85 percent wages.

Russia
In Russia working women are granted 20 weeks paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Rwanda
Women employees in Rwanda are entitled 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. The first 6 months are paid with 100 percent wages, while the remaining 6 months may be paid with a certain percentage of the salary.

San Marino
5 months of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Sao Tome and Principe
In Sao Tome, working women are granted 60 days (8.5 weeks approx.) of paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Saudi Arabia
10 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Out of this, 6 weeks of compulsory leave has to be taken after childbirth. Leaves are paid with 50 or 100 percent wages, depending on the employment duration.

Senegal
Women employees are granted 10 weeks paid maternity leave. 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after childbirth. 50 percent for employees working for more than a year, and 100 percent for employees working with employer for more than 3 years.

Serbia
Maternity leave in Serbia is of 52 weeks, with 100 percent pay. The maternity leave benefits are paid by the government.

Seychelles
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Out of these, minimum of 8 weeks must be taken after childbirth. Leaves are paid at a flat monthly rate for 12 weeks.

Singapore
Maternity leave for women employees consists of 16 weeks. The percentage of wages paid is 100.

Slovakia
Working women in Slovakia are entitled to 28 weeks paid maternity leave with 55 percent wages paid. In case of single mothers, the leave can be extended to 37 weeks and 43 weeks in case of multiple births.

Slovenia
In Slovenia, 15 weeks of paid leave are entitled to women employees, with 100 percent wages paid.

Solomon Islands
12 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 25 percent wages.

Somalia
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with up to 50 percent wages.

South Africa
Women employees are entitled to 4 months (17.4 weeks approx.) of paid maternity leave. Leaves are paid in varying percentages as per income. Also, it is not mandatory for the employer to entitle paid leaves. The only regulation is leaves with job protection.

Spain
Spain entitles women employees with 16 weeks paid maternity leave, paid with 100 percent wages. This may be extended to 18 weeks in case of twins and 20 weeks in case of triplets. Women can also apply for unpaid maternity leave for 3 years.

Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, women employees are entitled 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. Wages paid during leave may vary.

St. Lucia
Working women are granted 3 months (13 weeks approx.) paid maternity leave with 65 percent of annual insurable wages paid.

Sudan
8 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after childbirth. Women may also choose to divide the leaves 2 weeks before confinement and 6 weeks after. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Switzerland
A total of 14 weeks of maternity leave is entitled to women employees, with 80 percent of wages paid.

Syrian Arab Republic
In Syria, women employees are entitled to 120 days (17.4 weeks approx.) of maternity leave. 100 percent wages are paid during leave.


Thailand
90 days (12.8 weeks approx.) of maternity leave is granted to women employees. The leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Togo
14 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Trinidad
13 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages for 1 month and with 50 percent wages for two months.

Tunisia
Tunisia entitles women 4 weeks of maternity leave. The leave is paid with two-thirds of their of wages.

Turkey
Working women in Turkey are entitled to 16 weeks paid maternity leave. The leave can be extended by 2 weeks in case of multiple births. Leaves are paid with two-thirds of the wages.

Uganda
60 days (8.5 weeks approx.) of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Ukraine
Working women in Ukraine are entitled to 18 weeks paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

United Arab Emirates
45 days (6.4 weeks approx.) of fully paid maternity leave, with 100 percent wages, is entitled to women employees.

United Kingdom
United Kingdom, entitles working women to a total of 52 weeks of paid leave in a year, which is paid at 90 percent of their wages. women must also take 2 weeks of leave after childbirth. Some employers may also offer additional benefits.

United Republic of Tanzania
Women employees are entitled to 12 weeks paid maternity leave, with 100 percent pay.

United States of America
In America there is no law that mandates employers to give paid leaves to working mothers. However, according to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), women are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave by the employer. Many states of America though, have extended benefits of maternity leave, which vary with different states.

Uruguay
In Uruguay, working women are granted 12 weeks paid maternity leave with 100 percent wages paid.

Vanuata
Women employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, with 50 percent wages paid.

Venezuela
18 weeks of paid maternity leave is entitled to women employees. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Vietnam
Vietnam entitles working women to a total of 4 months (17.4 weeks approx.) of paid leave in a year. Leaves are paid with 100 percent wages.

Yemen
Women employees in Yemen are entitled to 60 days (8.5 weeks approx.) of maternity leave, fully paid with 100 percent wages.

Zambia
In Zambia, non-represented/non-unionized workers are allowed 120 working days unpaid maternity leave. Employers who allow their workers to be represented or join unions, are entitled to 90 days (12.85 weeks) of paid maternity leave, with 100 percent pay.

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe entitles working women to a total of 14 weeks of paid leave in a year, which is paid with 100 percent of their wages.

The above is a list of the countries which have paid and unpaid maternity leave. Maternity leave benefits may differ with states, employer laws and similar. There may be many clauses and rules for each country to be eligible for maternity leave. These benefits may also be subject to change.