Being a parent is challenging enough without having to worry about job security, financial stability, and societal pressure. Many countries have approached this balancing act by providing mandated federal paid parental leave programs. This beautiful, compelling infographic by PlaygroundEquipment.com explores how paid parental leave compares across the globe:
As you can see, many European countries such as Estonia, Bulgaria, and Hungary excel in providing parents with mandated paid maternity leave. Japan and Korea top the chart for mandated paid paternity leave. In fact, in February of 2020, a Japanese government minister made history by challenging gender stereotypes and announcing he would take time off to be with his newborn child.
One of the most impossible to ignore statistics on this chart is that the United States ranks dead last. There is no federally mandated paid parental leave in the United States, despite the abundance of evidence that it benefits the family unit and the economy as a whole. To add insult to injury, the United States is considered to be the only wealthy nation with no national paid parental leave. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 23% of the workforce has access to paid family leave through their employers.
So what are the arguments against national paid parental leave in the United States? The primary push back is that is that it harms employers, but there is plenty of evidence that it can actually be beneficial as it boosts employee retention, morale, and reduced spending on employee benefits. Do you think that the United States should provide paid parental leave? We would love to hear your opinions below!