Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Maternal leave: US trails a staggering 163 nations

Highly recommended
From the Harvard School of Public Health’s Project on Global Working Families, entitled The Work, Family, And Equity Index: Where Does The United States Stand Globally? (PDF file).

"The United States lags dramatically behind all high-income countries, as well as many middle- and low-income countries, when it comes to public policies designed to guarantee adequate working conditions for families. One hundred-sixty-three countries around the world guarantee paid leave to women after childbirth; the United States does not. Forty-five countries ensure that fathers either receive paid paternity leave or paid parental leave; the United States does not. Seventy-six countries protect working women’s right to breastfeed at work; the United States offers no such protection. Ninety-six countries offer paid annual leave; the United States does not require employers to provide any paid annual leave. One hundred-thirty-nine countries provide paid leave for short or long-term illnesses; the United States has no national policy regarding sick leave. The list of working conditions relevant to families where the United States lags behind goes on and includes, among others, maximum hour legislation, legislation guaranteeing minimum days of rest, and leave for major family events."


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