President Obama announced last week that he will order federal agencies to offer employees up to six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. While the benefit would be much more generous than what the majority of American workers are offered today, it stills falls far short of what some of the best countries for maternity and paternity leave offer.
For example, Norway's policy allows new parents in a partnership to take 13 weeks of paid leave each, on top of the standard 10 weeks of paid time off. Or they have the option of sharing up to 36 weeks off at 80 percent of their normal pay, in addition to 10 paid weeks.
The United States isn't the worst country for maternity leave, but it's pretty close. After an adoption or birth, Americans are offered up to 12 weeks off, but that time is unpaid. Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Tunisia all rank below the U.S. in terms of length of maternity leave, but the time they do offer is paid.
For a side-by-side comparison of the best and worst parental employment benefits around the world, take a look at the infographic below from NeoMam Studios and Citation, a United Kingdom-based employment law consultancy.