A Sneak Peek at Paternity Leave in Countries around the World

Childcare used to be seen as a responsibility of the mothers, but things are beginning to change. Some countries are offering paternity leave to allow new fathers experience early child-father bonding, while others including the US are still struggling to improve maternity leave.

Paternity leave is not completely void in the US, anyway. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act require organizations with over 50 workers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave. Just a few (about 14%) offer paternity leave in the US, by choice.

Here are some countries around the continents that offer the best paternity leave.

Sweden

New dads in Sweden get the opportunity to bond with their new babies, not just the mom gets all the attention. Dads get 90 days paternity leave with 80% pay of their normal salary, with both parents getting a total of 480 days.

Norway

The system in Norway is similar to those in Sweden in terms of pay; both parents get 80% of their normal salary. But fathers have the option to take between 0 to 10 weeks of paternity leave, depending on how much their wives’ earns. Mothers have the option to take between 35 to 45 weeks.

Together, the parents can also receive an additional 56 weeks at 80% pay or 46 weeks at full pay.

Estonia

New dads in Estonia get 2 weeks of paternity leave with full pay. They also have the option to choose some of the time before the expected delivery date but within the final two months.

Slovenia

New fathers in Slovenia get 90 days of paternity leave. They receive full pay for the first 15 days and a minimum wage pay for the remaining 75 days. A total of 105 days maternity leave includes 28 days available before the expected delivery date.

Iceland

New parents in Iceland are to decide how they want to split their nine months parental leave. Dads and moms get three months each and the couple would decide on how they want to split share the remaining three months. They both receive 80% of their salary during the leave.

Hungary

New fathers in Hungary are entitled to 1 week fully paid paternity leave and an additional 156 weeks to split with their wives after her 24 weeks maternity leave. For 104 weeks, the parents receive 70% of their salary and a flat rate for the remaining weeks.

Finland

Fathers in Finland are entitled to 8 weeks of fully paid paternity leave and 23 weeks that both parents could split between child-rearing and pregnancy.

Until the child starts second grade, when the child is 3, the parents have the option to take partial care leave where they can split time between home and work.

Lithuania

New Fathers in Lithuania are guaranteed with 4 weeks paternity leave and an additional 156 weeks they could share with their wives. Here, the parents have the option to receive full payment for the first 52 weeks or 70% of their salary for the first 104 weeks. There is no payment for the remaining weeks.

Kenya

New Kenyan fathers get 2 weeks of fully paid paternity leave, but on a condition that the recognized employee’s wife delivers the baby. Hence, only men whose wives are recognized by their employers are entitled to paternity leave.

Canada

Paternity leave is only available in Quebec, with options for 3 weeks of 75% salary pay (up to a maximum of $1046 per week) or 5 weeks of 70% salary pay (up to a maximum of $975 per week).

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